iPhone 5 Release Rumor: Why A 16:9 Display Makes Sense And Why It Doesn’t

   on April 17 2012 8:07 AM

The Internet is flooded with rumors about the expected features and release date of Apple's most-hyped next iteration of the flagship iPhone, popularly known as iPhone 5.

At the same time, the device designers from all over the world are busy sketching down the possible concept designs of iPhone 5. While some of the designs are going over-the-top, some are intriguing and incorporates some very likely features that you can expect to see in your iPhone 5 that is expected to be launched in June or October.

The latest design, which has grabbed our attention, does not exactly elaborate on the features. Rather, it shows how the Cupertino-based giant can actually increase the screen size a little bit and make it 4-inch by simply stretching the screen to a 16:9 ratio while keeping the resolution same (326 dpi).

The latest design, which makes sense to most of us, comes from a certain Timothy Collins, who called into the Vergecast (episode 24) and detailed how Apple can increase the screen size a little bit by taking the 16:9 route.

16:9 display aspect ratio - Why it makes sense?

Till date, all iPhones have maintained a 3.5-inch display with 3:2 aspect ratio. Apple has debuted 960 x 640 resolution in iPhone 4 and 4S.

Currently the ppi is 326 in iPhone 4S and the aspect ratio is 3:2. To maintain the Retina quality of the display, Apple cannot simply increase the screen size to 4-inch as that would significantly decrease the number of ppi to 288.

Timothy's idea here is to change the aspect ratio from 3:2 to 16:9 and that's the only sensible way to increase the screen size while maintaining the same Retina resolution.

Shorter Side Will Remain Shorter, Only Elongate iPhone 5

According to Timothy, the shorter side of the iPhones screen will remain the same, i.e. 640 pixels at 1.94-inches while the longer side will become 3.49-inches and will have 1152 pixels. Previously it was 2.91-inches with 960 pixels (a flat 20-perecnt increase in the pixels in the new phone).

Following this rule, the diagonal length of the phone will be 3.99-inches, which can easily be converted into 4 inches.

16:9 Screen Aspect Indicates Major Changes in iPhone 5

Bigger Homescreen - The new homescreen will house another row of app icons in the bottom.

Apps Look Bad on a Stretched Screen - Contesting the post that was published on The Verge showcasing only the portrait look of the changed display with apps running on it, TheRussiansUsedaPencil.Com says that apps that are designed for both portrait and landscape orientations, simply look bad on the landscape mode with the stretched screen size. Even the virtual keyboard does not look impressive. Apple, however, we believe will come up with a solution here to mitigate the landscape problem on the stretched screen.

Apps with standard iOS UI - All the Built-in apps and AppStore apps come with Standard UI and, therefore, has no issues with 16:9 ratio but not all apps are built with the standard UI elements and to make them work and look proper on a 16:9 screen, minimal intervention from the developers would be needed.

However, with the launch of a 4-inch screen, iPhone 5 with 16:9 aspect ratio has some advantages such as:

1.       Can be manufactured easily as the screen will retain the same 326 ppi and therefore, Apple will use the same tools to produce the display, only the screen size will increase a bit;

2.       iPhone 5 can introduce flexible UI that will be compatible with 16:9 iPhones with a better notification system

3.       iOS 6 Features that would possibly include widgets, revised home screens, multitasking improvements, which earlier was not possible on a shorter screen.

Other Rumored Features of iPhone 5

  • 3D Camera
  • 3D GUI
  • OLED Screen
  • LTE
  • The iWallet
  • A6 processor
  • A5X Chip
  • 1 GB Of RAM
  • Improved Siri
  • Better battery
  • Nanotech coating for making the device waterproof
  • System for multi-player gaming

 (Information compiled from TheVerge.Com and TheRussiansUsedaPencil.Com)

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