Originally Posted by SSquirrel
So what resolution makes sense for Apple for the new phone? I don't see them sticking with 960*640, the ratio is wrong for 16:9. You haven't supplied anything else that seems suitable at all. 1138*640 would be almost the same pixel density as the current phone (3 ppi less), but that is a really wonky resolution. 1280x720 makes a lot of video work better as that is 720p and if they are bothering to switch to a widescreen resolution at this point, I don't see the point in not making sure you suit video better.
1136 × 640 would be a magic number for the purported size. That brings it from being 3:2 to 16:9 while maximizing the display size for the usability and, most importantly, uses the exact same pixel density as the current iPhone. This last item is very important which is why the 1024x768 Apple tablet was hypothesized before the iPad was ever announced.
It all comes down to production efficiency. If you can use the same display foundries that you've already invested heavily in -and- have great knowledge of you can save a lot of money. These displays aren't made in the tiny sizes we see. Essentially, they are made in large sheets that are cut to size.
Now that the original iPhone/Touch (163 PPI) display panels are becoming much less utilized if they can recommission this tech for another purpose they can save a huge amount of money in R&D and production costs. This is one important reason Apple has been so successful in the market. They rarely start from scratch, but build from their existing knowledge base and resources. This is how a smart company operates.
The same goes for the rumoured 4" iPhone, which is why it makes sense. Regardless of the actual size having it use the same 326 PPI pixel density panels saves them a lot of time, money and effort on every level.
I'm not exactly sure why people get hung up on a known aspect ratio. These are ultimately arbitrary. The value is absolutely irrelevant if what is designed to display on it is optimized for it. It's that simple! People didn't believe me when in 2009 amidst the "iTablet" rumours that a 4:3 aspect ratio (or thereabouts) would be the best balance for watching video -and- reading on a device about 10" diagonally. Note that reading isn't just books but pretty much what most of use do with out machine, often in an email or web page. It was also one of the reasons it was doomed from the start. Turns out Apple was right.
PS: Your argument that it has to be 720x1280 because of video simply doesn't hold water for many reasons. First of all, video plays just fine and doesn't need to be pixel perfect for it to work. Do you not watch movies on your HDTV or do you have a special HDTV with various resolutions for aspect ratios they are shot in? Of course not... and this is just a phone, whose purpose is not to replace your TV. That's just one issue. I've already mentioned cost for investment and purchases for the HW, OS, dev tools, and how that will affect usability.Edited by SolipsismX - 8/4/12 at 12:06pm