If next iPhone's screen keeps same proportions, can it get larger without problems?

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by thermal, Dec 6, 2010.

  1. thermal macrumors regular

    Aug 3, 2009
    Vancouver, Canada
    I've heard people say on this site that increasing the iPhone's screen size is impossible due to software changes needed.


    "...it's impossible for Apple to increase the size of the iPhone 3.5" screen because of the App development community and the SDK. I remembered being mentioned that if Apple increases the screen size, all the app developers will have to rewrite their apps again to support the bigger size."

    But it would seem to me that, as long as they kept the screen proportions identical (3:2?), couldn't the apps simply be scaled up? There's enough resolution on the retina display to keep 300dpi and increase the screen to say 3.7 inches.

    Any insights?
  2. Gjeepguy macrumors regular

    May 19, 2010
    They could change the size, but keep the pixles(640x960) the same. This would result in a lower pixels per inch (ppi) overall. The current ppi is 326.

    This would be unliekly due to the marketing of the retina display (greater than the human eye can decipher.) but could be a possibility.
  3. Small White Car macrumors G4

    Small White Car

    Aug 29, 2006
    Washington DC
    It's not the ratio that's the issue, it's the pixels.

    When they added pixels to the iPhone 4 they doubled each direction (thus, 4 times more pixels, overall) which is simple enough.

    If they make the screen larger I'd say the easiest way to do that is to leave the pixels alone at this point and just scale it up.

    But I don't think that will happen given all the time they talked about how awesome the Retina Display is. They can't come out with an iPhone 5 that has less DPI than the i4. That would be a hard thing to market.

    Which brings us back to pixels. They can't do any more easy math (doubling both directions again would be ridiculous) so Apple has 2 choices: Create a pixel-changing nightmare for their developers (not likely) or come out with an i5 that has less DPI than the i4 (also unlikely).

    I fully expect the i5 screen size and resolution to remain the same. I don't see any easy way out of that for Apple.

    (I agree with GJeepGuy that sizing up IS the more likely option of the two, but I still think the odds are pretty low.)
  4. tunerX Suspended


    Nov 5, 2009
    Hopefully they make it as big as the iPad. I have a really big head and hands with a tiny little body.
  5. kdarling macrumors P6


    Jun 9, 2007
    First university coding class = 47 years ago
    The retina marketing cleverly allows for any DPI depending on distance.

    However, to be consistent with the original idea of being simliar to "print quality" at 12 inches away, that means at least 300dpi, which allows up to a 3.84" screen at 960x640. (Although realistically, even a 4" at 288ppi wouldn't be noticeable.)

    No need to rewrite apps. They'd just be displayed slightly larger, similar to using them on an iPad.

    Apple could market it as "the screen for the older generation" :)
  6. Small White Car macrumors G4

    Small White Car

    Aug 29, 2006
    Washington DC
    I originally dismissed the idea based on the fact that it would be "hard to market."

    Then I remembered that these are the same people who threw this at their ad folks and expected them make them look good.

    So I guess anything's possible.
  7. ThatsMeRight macrumors 68020

    Sep 12, 2009
    3.5-4 inch would fit in iPhone's current design. And well, for that lower pixel density: maybe they can double it in iPhone 5 or iPhone 6 to 1920 * 1280 (from 960 * 640).

    I seriously believe iPhone 4's retina display is awesome, but I can still see the pixels if I want to. That's why I'd like a Full HD screen on such a small space. Than I will definitely will be unable to differentiate the pixels!
  8. thermal thread starter macrumors regular

    Aug 3, 2009
    Vancouver, Canada
    So it seems possible that if Apple were to decrease the iPhone's bezel and maintain screen proportions, we could have:

    a) an iPhone not physically larger than the current model
    b) a screen size of 3.7 or 3.8 inches
    c) a 300dpi screen

    Sounds reasonable?
  9. Givmeabrek macrumors 68040


    Apr 20, 2009
    Pics?? :eek:
  10. dccorona macrumors 68020


    Jun 12, 2008
    Based on comments SJ has made, I doubt we'll be seeing a larger screen anytime soon

    But it is possible. WP7 doesn't have apps written for different screen sizes. It has its set of supported resolutions (I think it might only be a single resolution actually), and devices have screens sized at 3.8 all the way up to 4.3, and everything inbetween. (samsung focus is 4" and dell venue pro is 4.1")
  11. err404 macrumors 68020

    Mar 4, 2007
    Why keep the same proportions?
    Not that I think they would but, they could change the aspect ratio of the screen to a wider screen. Simply reduce the bezel at the top and bottom. This would preserve DPI for RD, ensure compatibility for older apps and not change the form factor of the phone.
    Legacy apps would use the same 640x960. This would be similar to how iPhone apps have a extra space around them on an iPad. New apps could extent the top and bottom to where the bezel is today, to say 640x1200.

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