might be wrong about the 4-inch iPhone

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by ThatsMeRight, May 5, 2012.

  1. ThatsMeRight macrumors 68020

    Sep 12, 2009
    iLounge was spot on with the third generation iPad, but I have serious doubts about their sixth generation ("iPhone 5") predictions.

    They claim the next-generation iPhone will 'roughly' have a 4 inch display. They also claim that Apple will not reduce the current display in width, but only in length. This means the resolution will be YYYY x 640, with a pixel density of 326 pixels per inch.

    This means the aspect ratio must be anything above 3:2 but definitely below 2:1 (which basically is a much wider widescreen display). And this is what I have come up with:


    Basically, there are only two real options for Apple and that's the 1024 x 640 resolution and the 1184 x 640 resolution.

    The other resolutions are NOT whole numbers (e.g. 1066.67). While it is not impossible, it is unlikely for Apple to just screw up the standard aspect ratios. They won't leave 0.67 pixels away, but they can't add it either. That's why there are only two real possibilities.

    1024 x 640 is an unlikely option: an upgrade from 3.5" to 3.7" won't be worth all the extra mess for Apple.

    That leaves us with 1184 x 640. That would mean it would be a 4.12" display: iLounge is talking about 'roughly' 4 inch, so 4.12" would be possible depending on how you interpertate 'roughly'.

    Now here is my problem with this resolution: this means the display will be wider than a 16:9 widescreen TV, and Apple has never really been 'open' to widescreen resolutions.

    I just find it hard to believe Apple will settle with such an uncommon resolution with an aspect ratio wider than 16:9.

    My conclusion: iLounge might very well be wrong (when it comes to the display).

    I earlier created a thread in which I suggested why I think it is very well possible that Apple might even settle with 4.3" display.
  2. Giuly, May 5, 2012
    Last edited: May 5, 2012

    Giuly macrumors 68040


    It's 1440x960. That would map to 3x3 pixel for one iPhone/3G/3GS pixel, and interpolates nicely for the 960x640 resolution of the iPhone 4/4S (which is 2x2 iPhone/3G/3GS pixel)
    And yes, given that you hold a 4" screen farther away from your face, a higher PPI count makes sense. Make it 4.3", and it's the perfect screen size and resolution.
  3. ThatsMeRight thread starter macrumors 68020

    Sep 12, 2009
    I'm just suggesting right now that iLounge is incorrect and if they went with 1440 x 960 it would still be a 3:2 aspect ratio.

    And no, if you hold a display further from your face, a lower pixel density makes sense (the iPad 3 has a pixel density of 264 pixels per inch - and that's 'okay' because you hold it further from your face).

    I still think 4.3"-ish is the most logical choice for Apple. A 4.37" 960 x 640 display would have a pixel density of 264 pixels per inch. That would mean they could use the same production lines they are using for the iPad 3 to produce the displays.
  4. stevemiller macrumors 68000

    Oct 27, 2008
    Nothing about this post makes sense.

    1) a 3x multiplier of the original iPhone resolution does nothing to help awful scaling artifacts of existing retina artwork which would be scaled 1.5x on this hypothetical screen.

    2) holding something further away would allow you to lower the PPI and have the same clarity, not the other way around.

    Everything is speculation and apple could do just about anything, but these would definitely not be their justifications.
  5. Eso macrumors 68000


    Aug 14, 2008
    A 4" screen doesn't mean exactly four inches (just like the current 3.5" screen isn't exactly three and a half inches), nor does 326 PPI mean exactly 326 pixels per inch. In fact, it's impossible for each pixel to have dimensions of exactly 1/326 inches as it is an irrational number.

    I don't understand what you mean when you say there are only two options. It's not like the display has to be a standard aspect ratio. They are just going to add a certain number of pixels to the top and bottom of the screen. If they add 90 theyll get a resolution of 1140x640 with a screen size of 4.01"
  6. ThatsMeRight thread starter macrumors 68020

    Sep 12, 2009
    You can't round of 4.12" to 4 inches, that's like rounding off a 4.4" display to 4 inch and a 4.5" display to 5 inch.

    They can't just change aspect ratios. Samsung, LG and others are currently only able to produce displays with standarized aspect ratios.
  7. Eso macrumors 68000


    Aug 14, 2008
    You are going to have to prove that one with some legitimate sources.
  8. Giuly, May 5, 2012
    Last edited: May 5, 2012

    Giuly macrumors 68040


    The iPhone 4 has a resolution of 480x320 points. One point being 2x2 pixel. If you double that (that's what the iPhone 4 did), you'd be at 1920x1280 - way to much. If you instead split that 1 point into 3x3 pixel (at the same 480x320 point resolution), you'd be at 1440x960. Want to scale up 2x2 from the iPhone 4? No problem, and it even looks better than the upscaled graphics of non-retina apps on the iPhone 4 (as you scale it up by a factor of 1.5, not by a factor of 2)
    This makes sense. A lot, actually.

    Well, right, my mistake. But I probably don't have 20/20 vision and still see pixels to a certain degree on the iPhone 4, so going up a bit from 320PPI wouldn't hurt.

    Of course, but 1440x960 makes the most sense, because unlike all resolutions stated by the OP, it scales symmetrically.
  9. ThatsMeRight, May 5, 2012
    Last edited: May 5, 2012

    ThatsMeRight thread starter macrumors 68020

    Sep 12, 2009
    Do you have evidence that iOS apps work like this?

    With a XXXX x 640 resolution they won't need to scale. All apps will run with black borders above and below and developers who update their apps can make use of the additional pixels in length.

    And I think you miss the point. I'm stating why I think iLounge is incorrect. You are just talking about a possible 3:2 resolution. iLounge is talking about a display with the same width, but that is slightly longer.

    Any display currently produced by Samsung has a common aspect ratio. They simply do not produce displays with uncommon aspect ratios right now. I'll give you an URL as soon as I find one - I'm unable to give you one know. I can also turn it around: why do you not provide evidence that Samsung indeed does produce displays (in mass production) with uncommon aspect ratios?

    There is one exception and that's the 1366 x 768 resolution which is common for notebooks.
  10. Eso macrumors 68000


    Aug 14, 2008
    Well, obviously - that's the whole purpose of standards. There's no reason to produce displays with non-standard resolutions unless it's ordered specifically.
  11. Giuly macrumors 68040


    The iPhone 4 introduction keynote. :rolleyes:
  12. Cougarcat macrumors 604

    Sep 19, 2003
    Which, of course, Apple can do. They have the cash, and they'd be ordering them in massive quantities. I don't see why it would be any different than the iPhone 4's retina display today––does any other device use it?

    The fact that no company currently makes screens in that aspect ratio proves nothing.

    The Verge did an excellent writeup on why the long 4" display makes since. And Gruber mentioned recently that "if Apple were to increase the size, this is how they'd do it." He loves to give very subtle hints like that when he knows something.
  13. blairh macrumors 68040


    Dec 11, 2007
    Gruber is a good source, but I think he's more in the dark then people realize.

    With respect to dimensions, the iLounge report makes a lot of sense. Not saying that it's going to happen, but it wouldn't surprise me.

    The one thing I'm very confident about is that Apple will not increase the width of the next iPhone. If they make a decision to decrease the width from the 3GS to the 4, then they did so for a good reason. To then make the next model wider doesn't make sense to me.
  14. stevemiller macrumors 68000

    Oct 27, 2008
    You're missing the point. Scaling up by 1.5 is not better than scaling up by 2 just because it's a smaller multiplier.. Spreading 1 pixel across 1.5 pixels is the kind of uneven math that produces unappealing artifacts. The only option would be to scale up the original iPhone artwork 3x, which I feel would be an unpleasant step back for people who already had been used to retina graphics on the 4/4s.
  15. Sedrick macrumors 68030


    Nov 10, 2010
    If you look at cross sections of the 3GS and 4 model, you see they had to make the 4 slightly narrower to fit in the same foot print as the 3GS (so all the docks would still fit). Something they had to do when they squared off the phone. It wasn't just for the sake of making it narrower.

    If they go 4", it will look ugly as hell if they just make the screen taller. It's probably time to break the mold they made back in 2007 anyway.
  16. blairh macrumors 68040


    Dec 11, 2007
    This is the first time I've heard this theory. I have no idea if you are right. I don't really care anymore at this point. I got all revved up last fall and was really let down. Whatever Apple unleashes next for the iPhone will most likely please me. I just wish more than anything that we were getting the next model in June and not this fall.

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