Will next iPhone go to 4" without increasing resolution?

sportsfrk214

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Sep 18, 2007
564
28
I was reading this article on CNET and came across an interesting quote:

If it does this, I'd expect Apple to also increase the resolution of the screen. The Retina Display on the iPhone 4 and iPhone 4S is already terrific, sporting 960x640 pixels. But Apple has proven with the latest iPad, that it can push the limits on screen resolution.
This author makes it sound so simple but I'm not so sure it is. I believe Apple has got itself caught in the middle here. On one hand, I think Apple would like to have a phone with a bigger screen. We don't have to go to 4.3-4.5 like these Android phones, but I think 4 is very reasonable for most people in regards to hand size. On the other hand, Apple I believe doesn't want to change the resolution again, because they've already done it to developers once. But Apple also is marketing the Retina display to death, and I think they want to keep that.

So I think about what if Apple brings the iPhone 5 to a 4 inch screen - can they keep the same resolution? Steve said himself during the iPhone 4 introduction that they were aiming for 300 ppi, and they actually went overboard by going 326 ppi. A 4 inch screen at the current 960x640 resolution would give Apple 288 ppi.

I think this is satisfactory. I think that 288 is still an incredibly high ppi, higher than the new iPad, and I bet most people still wouldn't be able to distinguish pixels. Also, because the screen is larger people would be more likely to hold the phone farther away from their eyes. Sure, if you put it right up to your face you'd be able to see pixels, but that's not the point. It's meant to be "Retina" from a distance, not close up.

So if Apple increases the screen size, do you think they'll up the resolution (and annoy developers), or do you think they'll keep the same resolution and suffer slightly worse, but still pretty amazing, screen clarity?
 

Small White Car

macrumors G4
Aug 29, 2006
10,897
1,125
Washington DC
I agree with your conclusions, my only difference is that I think 3.7" is as large as Apple will go.

This makes your guesses about resolution even more likely, actually, which is why I'm inclined to believe them.
 

chambone

macrumors 6502a
Dec 24, 2011
969
24
Netherlands
Increasing screen size while keeping the resolution the same serves no purpose whatsoever. Hopefully they'll keep it compact and pocketable.
 

sportsfrk214

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Sep 18, 2007
564
28
Increasing screen size while keeping the resolution the same serves no purpose whatsoever. Hopefully they'll keep it compact and pocketable.
Except more real estate for watching movies, viewing webpages, typing, etc. I understand you won't see more of a webpage, but what you do see will be larger. Same with the keyboard, I find the keyboard to be a bit cramped at times. And people have shown that Apple could fit a 3.75-inch screen into the current form factor, so even if they went all the way up to 4 the device wouldn't have to be that much bigger.
 

chakraj

macrumors 65816
Feb 6, 2008
1,264
1
So Cal
I think you might be right, thats why I sold my iphone 4S and got a smartphone with a 720 screen. As soon as a nice 1080 screen is out, maybe the GS111, I will be getting that, love those high res screens.
 

chambone

macrumors 6502a
Dec 24, 2011
969
24
Netherlands
Except more real estate for watching movies, viewing webpages, typing, etc. I understand you won't see more of a webpage, but what you do see will be larger. Same with the keyboard, I find the keyboard to be a bit cramped at times. And people have shown that Apple could fit a 3.75-inch screen into the current form factor, so even if they went all the way up to 4 the device wouldn't have to be that much bigger.
Well, you're right about the keyboard. I have fairly large hands and fingers, and as I tend to use the thing one-handed mostly, the keyboard can feel smallish at times. But if I want to send longer messages I just use the landscape keyboard. Problem solved. Almost all of my bookmarked webpages are of the mobile variety, as I don't see the point of viewing full-size pages on a phone, other than a galaxy note maybe. And I don't have a single video on the device. I don't see myself watching a movie or music vid or whatever while commuting or travelling. Do people really do that? And how much of a difference would an additional inch make, given the same resolution? Not much if you have perfect vision, if you ask me.

I can appreciate the fact that others use their iphones in different ways than I do though. Just giving my opinion. But for me, compactness trumps just about everything. Personally, I find these youtube vids where people claim that a Note fits in their jeans pocket 'just fine' pretty hilarious.
 

kre62

macrumors 68020
Jul 12, 2010
2,083
729
My money is on 4" with same resolution.

There is no 300PPI constraint, as the recent iPad again proves. Steve said distance is a factor in the original presentation, yet a nation of people never quite got it. Til now hopefully.
 

w00t951

macrumors 68000
Jan 6, 2009
1,831
4
Pittsburgh, PA
I think you might be right, thats why I sold my iphone 4S and got a smartphone with a 720 screen. As soon as a nice 1080 screen is out, maybe the GS111, I will be getting that, love those high res screens.
1080? You're joking, right? That's a huge PPI. 60% of the iPad's pixels crammed into a 4" display. Besides, Android can't even run smoothly on 720p displays.