We’ve all heard it again and again: Apple’s next iPhone will have a bigger screen. This is something that was all but a guarantee with the iPhone 5 — until that device turned out to be the iPhone 4S, which has the same 3.5-inch display as its predecessors. Then, just last week, the Wall Street Journal and Reuters independently reported that the screen on the “next iPhone” (whatever it may be called) will be “at least” 4 inches. And today, even more purported details have arrived.
According to Chuck Remington of 9to5Mac — a site that has been leading the way in Apple rumors this time around — Apple is currently testing a number of different iPhone models, and sources say that at least one of them has a larger display than any other iPhone. Not only that, but the new screen will measure 3.95 inches diagonally, giving it a width of 1.94 inches (same as current iPhone models), and an extended height of 3.45 inches. This would give the display an aspect ratio close to 16:9, which means wide-scree videos would be able to play in their native aspect ratio, rather than being resized. Furthermore, the next iPhone’s display will reportedly have a pixel boost, jumping from 640 x 960 to 640 x 1136.
These aren’t the only details Remington supplies. According to his sources, Apple is testing two models with the larger display. And one of them may actually make its way to market.
“We know of two next-generation iPhones in testing with a larger display: the iPhone 5,1 and iPhone 5,2,” writes Remington. “These phones are in the PreEVT stage of development and are codenamed N41AP (5,1) and N42AP (5,2). Because Apple reserves certain models for internal-only usage (such as the N96 phone we previously reported on), we’re not sure which of the two devices will make its way into the world later this year.”
Apple is also said to be beta testing its updated mobile operating system, iOS 6, with developers, so that they can take advantage of the larger screen. According to Erica Ogg at GigaOm, iOS developers aren’t particularly concerned about an iPhone with a larger screen or a different resolution. But the change in aspect ratio may cause some headaches.
Numerous reports indicate that Apple plans to begin production on the next iPhone in June, and release the next-generation handset sometime near October.