It is a truth universally acknowledged that Apple will release an iPhone later this year with a larger screen (probably a 4.7″ screen). Few solid details are known about this screen, not its construction, resolution, or exact size, but today 9to5Mac has put forward a novel theory which guesses at the resolution.
They say they have sources which put the resolution of the new screen at 1704 x 960. While that is not a clean multiple of the resolution of the existing 4″ screen, 9to5Mac has an explanation as to why this is the new screen resolution.
But first, a little background. Apple has had 3 standard screen resolutions on the iPhone since the first model launched in 2007:
- The first iPhone had a 3.5″ screen with a resolution of 320 x 480.
- The resolution was quadrupled three years later to 960 x 640, while the screen size remained the same.
- And then in 2012 Apple debuted a 4″ iPhone with a longer screen (1136 x 640).
And that brings us to today. The iPhone 6 is expected to have a 4.7″ screen. Clearly the new and larger screen is going to have more pixels than the existing screen on the iPhone 5s, but your guess is as good as mine as to the number.
The simple and straightforward solution would be to quadruple the resolution again, this time jumping to 2272 x 1280. That would result in a screen which was so sharp you would be able to see an angel dance on the head of a pin. This screen would have a pixel density of around 555 ppi, which so far as I know is sharper than anything else on the market.
But rather than quadrupling the resolution, 9to5Mac is proposing that it will only increase by one and a quarter (to 1704 x 960). They have an intricate explanation for the change:
From a developer’s perspective, the current iPhone 5/5s/5c display has a resolution of 568 x 320, up from 480 x 320 in the original iPhone. However, there are actually twice as many pixels in each direction to create a sharper image. In other words, an iPhone 5s with a non-Retina (or “1X”) display would have an actual resolution of 568 x 320 (which is the 1136 x 640 resolution divided by 2). We’ll call this the “base resolution” of the iPhone 5/5s/5c.
Fast forward to 2014, and Apple is preparing to make another significant screen adjustment to the iPhone. Instead of retaining the current resolution, sources familiar with the testing of at least one next-generation iPhone model say that Apple plans to scale the next iPhone display with a pixel-tripling (3X) mode.
This means that Apple will likely be tripling the aforementioned “base resolution” (568 x 320) of the iPhone screen in both directions, and that the iPhone screen resolution will be scaled with an increase of 150% from the current 2X resolution of 1136 x 640. Of course, Apple tests several different iPhones and display technologies, so it is possible that Apple chooses to take another route for display specifications for the 2014 iPhone upgrade.
They got the description of the math wrong, but I still agree with their math and their argument which supports it.
While this idea is a little crazy, it is the best argument I have read so far. Would anyone care to take a bet on whether this is true?