Apple should according to the venerable Wall Street Journal have decided to equip their iPhone family with a bigger 4 inch display, which would be the first time that the company changes the display size on their very popular smartphone family. This is almost a natural development with the competitors in mind.
Apple has since the introduction of their iPhone family in 2007 kept the size of the display at 3,5 inches while the rest of the smartphone market with Android at the forefront has grown alot. Not least the arch rival Samsung that recently launched the super-smartphone Galaxy S III with an enormous display at 4,8 inches.
Sources to the American Wall Street Journal now claims that Apple has begun to place big orders of displays for the next generation of iPhone, and several Asian manufacturers where among others LG Display, Sharp and Japan Display Inc is already mentioned as assumed suppliers. As apposed to todays iPhone panels the new displays should have a dimension of 4 inches in diameter and is supposed to confirm what many has expected – even Apples iPhone will grow this year.
The smartphone market has changed radically the last few years and while there is many advantages with bigger displays when we consume more multimedia and use our phones with more productive applications the iPhones handy format has been considered an advantage for many people. But at the same time that many consumers has started to doubt the new super-smartphones almost unwieldy big displays, Apples limited formfactor has started to fall a little too much out of fashion.
At the same time that Apple should be doing the biggest design change in iPhones history, analysts say that it shouldn’t necessary be taken as a sign that they follow their competitors development. Nobuo Kurahashi, analyst at Mizuho Investors Securities, means that it is still Apple that controls the smartphone market even if Samsung is selling significantly more smartphones in total. If the information that a bigger 4 inch display is correct it would indicate that Apple simply see enough advantages for their customers to upgrade their smartphone series with a bigger display.
What resolution at 4 inches?
If iPhone 5 will be delivered with a 4 inch big display another question comes to mind – what resolution will the panel get? Apple has invested hard in their Retina concept with impressive pixeldensity. Not least in iPhone 4 and 4S but also in the latest tablet generation with the iPad. If Apple increases the display size from 3,5 inches to 4 inches it will probably also require an increased resolution to keep the pixeldensity that they strive for, even if also around 300 ppi is within reach of what Apple want to call their ”Retina-class” in a smartphone.
It is most plausible that they increase the resolution on the display panel and if they stick to their 4:3 ratio that is still used in both iPhone and iPad there is still pretty few good alternatives. The closest at hand is probably 1024 x 768 pixels, the same resolution as the iPad 2 which should provide good app-compatibility and keep the high pixeldensity of 320 ppi. The otherwise well familiar display resolution 1 280 x 720 pixels has another ratio and therefore feels as a less likely choice for Apple. This is still highly speculative figures and as usual Apple has chosen not to comment the information regarding a 4 inch display at all.
Apple is expected to launch iPhone 5 during fall and we wouldn’t be surprised if it actually would be with a somewhat bigger displaypanel, although far from the monster displays that for example Samsung and HTC invests in. But all information until the launch day should as usual be taken lightly.