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Rumor: Apple to double 'iPhone 5S' Retina resolution to 1.5M pixels

post #1 of 157
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A new report claims Apple is planning to increase the resolution of a future iPhone model to 1.5 million pixels ??double that of the pixel count on the current iPhone 5.

The details come from a report by Chinese-language Weiphone (via Unwired View), which claims that the next-generation Retina display will be featured on Apple's next-generation handset, whether it be known as the "iPhone 5S" or "iPhone 6." The report claimed that the next iPhone will continue to have the same 4-inch display as the iPhone 5.

iPhone 5


In addition, the report claimed that the iPhone 5 will have an even thinner bezel than its current design, suggesting Apple will borrow design elements from its popular iPad mini. Finally, it was claimed that Apple's next iPhone will begin shipping in September.

The current iPhone 5 has a pixel count of nearly 730,000 thanks to its screen resolution of 1,136 by 640 pixels. That works out to 326 pixels per inch on the 4-inch display.

Apple introduced the "Retina display" branding for its screens with the launch of the iPhone 4 in 2010. That handset featured a 3.5-inch display with a resolution of 960 by 640 pixels, double that of its predecessors.

At the time, Apple's Retina display was a market leading feature for the iPhone. But since then, devices like the HTC One, with a 468-pixel-per-inch display, have hit the market.

The HTC One crams a 1080p-resolution screen, the equivalent of a full-fledged high-resolution television, into a 4.7-inch space. That's more than 2 million pixels, putting it at a density substantially higher than Apple's iPhone 5.
post #2 of 157
That sounds like Apple is getting into the specs game, which would be silly.

I'd rather they improved battery life and/or capacity, and used elsewhere the cost savings associated with keeping the retina display as is. (They could even use it to cut prices a bit....)
post #3 of 157

Seems like a silly thing to do, so probably is not true.  They spent so much time explaining that this was the highest that was needed by the human eye.

post #4 of 157
Why?

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post #5 of 157
That equals an very strange resolution of about 1632 by 919 pixels. And about 468 ppi !

I think they could rather go straight to full HD or some nicer resolution like 1600 by 900.

But if this happen or not, most people will not tell the difference, unless Apple will improve the display in other areas as well.
post #6 of 157

Wouldn't they have to quadruple the pixel count?  And to what end?  Why would this even be worth doing?  

post #7 of 157

That would be completely pointless; it would just squander GPU and battery performance for no perceptible benefit to the end user. I don't believe it for a moment.

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post #8 of 157
I don't buy this. If they went to a 960x1704 display it cost lots of battery life, eat more GPU while offering almost no improvement.
post #9 of 157
Isn't Retina supposed to be the limit of our eyes. Details at that level aren't distinguihsable by the eyes anymore. Instead of chasig this resolution arm war, how about giving us a bigger iPhone (5") AND higher resolution?
post #10 of 157

I think the "report" is bs too, but, if Apple is going to release a completely new less expensive model, maybe they "should" release more than a refresh to keep the interest on it's flashship premium model with higher margins rather than just the less expensive model with lower margins. AND the new resolution could pave they way for a larger screen iphone if one is ever released.

post #11 of 157
This would be incredible frustrating as a developer... Screen density fragmentation is already making for ridiculously large Apps (with most devs including 4 different version of their imagery to accommodate the various screen sizes/densities -- instead of using code-generated vector elements).

"Let's add 2-3mb/file graphics to the mix as well -- just to shake to things up"... No, let's not.
post #12 of 157
I think it only makes sense if it is used for 3D: full res for each eye.
post #13 of 157
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zoolook View Post

Why?


That was my thought... when you currently cannot perceive the pixels, why double it... likely more power use with no gain other than on a spec sheet.  I can see doubling camera pixels... doubling battery life... all good, but the screen dpi?  Why indeed.

post #14 of 157
Obviously this is a bogus rumor. These devices are for human consumption and do not need to be specified beyond human capabilities. To do so, is a complete waste of resources that do matter such as RAM, bandwidth, storage, GPU, Expense, etc. I would have believed his rumor if it were about Samsung.
post #15 of 157

Well, at least it's a rumour about a new Apple device!

post #16 of 157
This really doesn't make much sense. It would be far more logical for Apple to focus on doubling the resolution of the iPad Mini to get it into the Retina-realm; why would they incur the development and yield costs for the minuscule return of doubling the iPhone's already-retina resolution when they still have a number of products that are sub-Retina?
post #17 of 157

I cant find the pixels on an iPhone 5 with a magnifying glass.  This indicates to me that when Apple says "Retina Display" means that it surpasses the limits of human vision, they are telling the truth.  Making the ppi any higher is just taxing the processing resources for no visible purpose.

 

It's like all that "frame rate" hooey that was so big a few years ago.  People perceive motion to be continuous at 24-30 frames per second.  Those who say they can detect an improvement at higher rates are either liars or outliers.

post #18 of 157
Quote:
Originally Posted by zoffdino View Post

Isn't Retina supposed to be the limit of our eyes. Details at that level aren't distinguihsable by the eyes anymore.

 

"Retina" depends on distance.   It uses the same calculations that were used for "print quality".

 

The assumption is that at 12", 300 PPI is the average person's eye resolution.  (For people with better eyesight, it would have to be denser.)

 

The closer you get, the smaller that pixels must be.  At 6", a "retina" display would require 595 PPI.

 
That said, this rumor sounds a bit crazy.  Apple would be far, far better off promoting resolution independence in developer apps, to give themselves future flexibility in screen sizes.
post #19 of 157
Bollocks, for the iPhone, at least.

Pros
Nothing that our eyes will notice.

Cons
Higher power consumption
...which requires a bigger battery
...which adds weight
Loss of storage capacity (as apps increase in size)

However, increased display resolution would benefit something closer to our eyes.

Like glasses.
post #20 of 157

I also heard that the battery will be larger than the phone itself. This will increase the battery life by 100%. Oh, and it will be called the iPhone Tardis.

post #21 of 157

Would this be something that would possibly allow for development of true "resolution independence"? I don't know enough about that technology to say.

post #22 of 157
Quote:
Originally Posted by bcode View Post

This would be incredible frustrating as a developer... Screen density fragmentation is already making for ridiculously large Apps (with most devs including 4 different version of their imagery to accommodate the various screen sizes/densities -- instead of using code-generated vector elements).

"Let's add 2-3mb/file graphics to the mix as well -- just to shake to things up"... No, let's not.

 

It's not a great deal of extra work as a designer/developer but the size issue is real. Suddenly everyone's iPhone has ~50% less space for app, even those on older devices.

post #23 of 157
Quote:
Originally Posted by Steven N. View Post

I don't buy this. If they went to a 960x1704 display it cost lots of battery life, eat more GPU while offering almost no improvement.
Quote:
Originally Posted by jusephe View Post

That equals an very strange resolution of about 1632 by 919 pixels. And about 468 ppi !

How are you two getting these values? The article says double so 1136x640 would be 2272x1280.

To me this seems overkill for the 3.5" and 4" devices but there is plenty of precedence for scaling in this way, and if they are going to do a ≈5" iPhone that matched the iPhone 5 resolution then the PPI might be too low for Apple to reasonably call it Retina. This might be where this doubling could come in. It would me a ≈5" iPhone about 520 PPI with room to go into that resolution for the 4" model while still being easily scalable for developers and therefore simple for users along the way.


edit: Ah, I see. The article erroneously mentions doubling the resolution and yet only uses double the pixel count, instead of quadrupling the pixel count, as a metric. This also follows a need for a 5" iPhone to use a higher resolution to still be Retina. 1.5x the resolution would do it but that would be atypical for Apple.

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post #24 of 157
Quote:
Originally Posted by RichL View Post

 

It's not a great deal of extra work as a designer/developer but the size issue is real. Suddenly everyone's iPhone has ~50% less space for app, even those on older devices.

Actually it IS a great deal of extra work.  I support 5 apps, 4 of which are for iPhone and iPad.  The number of opening screen shots and icons that have to be created is significant (2 resolutions, 2 orientations, 3 device sizes, plus a few extra icons for the store).  No big deal for major developers who can just throw a little more work to their graphics people, but for independent developers who either do their own graphics or pay someone, it is a PITA.  I'd much rather be spending time improving the app, than fine tuning splash screens and icons for let another resolution.

 

Having said that, this rumor is BS.

post #25 of 157
Quote:
Originally Posted by isaidso View Post

Would this be something that would possibly allow for development of true "resolution independence"? I don't know enough about that technology to say.

99% of apps are already resolution independent.  It's only icons and custom images that aren't.

post #26 of 157

What would be the point?  So a hawk couldn't distinguish the pixels either?

 

What a waste of storage, memory, battery life and engineering it would be.   Highly dubious rumour,

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post #27 of 157
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zoolook View Post

Why?

Don't ask me! 

post #28 of 157
Quote:
Originally Posted by brutus009 View Post

Wouldn't they have to quadruple the pixel count?  And to what end?  Why would this even be worth doing?  

There is more to perception than the ability to see the pixels. Would it be worth doing? Well the only way to know for sure is to see a screen next to a old iPhone delivering different content. At this point I would say it isn't worth it but who really knows.
post #29 of 157
Quote:
Originally Posted by bcode View Post

This would be incredible frustrating as a developer... Screen density fragmentation is already making for ridiculously large Apps (with most devs including 4 different version of their imagery to accommodate the various screen sizes/densities -- instead of using code-generated vector elements).
And who's fault is that? The tools to provide vector based images are there as are tools to scale images. So if this is true and developers take the easy way out and supply a bunch of bit maps is it really Apples fault?
Quote:
"Let's add 2-3mb/file graphics to the mix as well -- just to shake to things up"... No, let's not.
Especially when there is no reason to do such.
post #30 of 157
When will the rumor that iPhone 5s will delay due to production problem to make this double retina display ? When will we hear this bullshit ?
post #31 of 157
Leave the res alone!!! Retina set the std and is still plenty. Apple def doesn't need to get into the specs game. I'm all for extra battery, more scratch resistant tech, thinner is fine but dang! soon we'll be holding an index card for a phone.

I also hope they don't go bigger than 4inch with the current slim (screen) so the one handed 'thumb' swipe is still possible.
post #32 of 157
Apple should focus on battery life. Stop increasing density of pixels, stop making it thinner, make it last longer.
post #33 of 157

The only way this makes sense to me is if they plan on making a larger screened phone. This would allow them to keep retina-level PPI in a larger form-factor while still positioning this larger phone as the premium flagship device.

post #34 of 157
Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post


And who's fault is that? The tools to provide vector based images are there as are tools to scale images. So if this is true and developers take the easy way out and supply a bunch of bit maps is it really Apples fault?
Especially when there is no reason to do such.

They have to include the pngs at all the different resolutions, iOS doesn't load in vector art.

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post #35 of 157
Originally Posted by Captain J View Post
Apple should focus on battery life. Stop increasing density of pixels, stop making it thinner, make it last longer.

 

And already someone has taken this idiocy as fact. Great.


Originally Posted by asdasd View Post
…iOS doesn't load in vector art.

 

Yet!

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post #36 of 157
Quote:
Originally Posted by RichL View Post

It's not a great deal of extra work as a designer/developer but the size issue is real. Suddenly everyone's iPhone has ~50% less space for app, even those on older devices.

The size issue can be dealt with in a number of ways. Vector graphics can be considered for example. Images can be scaled for the screen in use which is an approach that is both simple and well supported in iOS. Developer might also be encouraged to delete some of the excessive imagery used in their apps.

The above are all things that can be done now with currently support iOS apps. Apple could provide for an API to let apps download the graphics suitable for the device that the app is running on. Even today that would be a great improvement for existing hardware. This could be done at install time but Apple might also provide for post install updates.

I. Have to agree though if a developer is having problems with this he is holding it wrong.
post #37 of 157
Quote:
Originally Posted by Steven N. View Post

I don't buy this. If they went to a 960x1704 display it cost lots of battery life, eat more GPU while offering almost no improvement.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post

That sounds like Apple is getting into the specs game, which would be silly.

I'd rather they improved battery life and/or capacity, and used elsewhere the cost savings associated with keeping the retina display as is. (They could even use it to cut prices a bit....)

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rob Bonner View Post

Seems like a silly thing to do, so probably is not true.  They spent so much time explaining that this was the highest that was needed by the human eye.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Zoolook View Post

Why?

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by brutus009 View Post

Wouldn't they have to quadruple the pixel count?  And to what end?  Why would this even be worth doing?  

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Socrates View Post

That would be completely pointless; it would just squander GPU and battery performance for no perceptible benefit to the end user. I don't believe it for a moment.

I'm sorry, but you guys need to think a little more:

 

  • The current iPhone already has enough horsepower for it;
  • If they go with Imagination's ROGUE, it will have more than enough horsepower to power a nuclear submarine. That sort of thing, on your phone, must have a purpose, and it isn't Angry birds;
  • With things like IGZO, the power requirements would be substantially lower;
  • Put an HTC one and an iPhone side by said. While you can talk about the iPhone having a better screen overall, try and read text. The HTC one just looks better.

 

So, basically:

  1. I hope this rumor is true;
  2. I hope they go with the 9.7" iPad's resolution;
  3. I hope they use the same resolution on the iPad mini or the resolution on the 13" retina Macbook pro;
  4. I hope they up the resolution on the 9.7" iPad so it is equal to the 15" rMBP;
  5. I hope they use similar resolutions on Airs;
  6. I hope they go 4K for the Macbook Pros;
  7. IGZO all the way.

 

And, to conclude:

 

  • It could make sense, be a huge improvement, put prices down for IGZO and LiquidMetal, so they can make a non-expensive badass watch for everyone, later.

 

Have a nice day! 

post #38 of 157
Another baseless rumor.

The only logical thing for Apple to do is to crush the competition with a 17 inch iPhone.

Let's see Samsung top that.
post #39 of 157
Quote:
Originally Posted by asdasd View Post

They have to include the pngs at all the different resolutions, iOS doesn't load in vector art.
Huh? Have you actually looked at developer tools lately? There is plenty of support for vector graphics in iOS.
post #40 of 157
Quote:
Originally Posted by macFanDave View Post

I cant find the pixels on an iPhone 5 with a magnifying glass.  This indicates to me that when Apple says "Retina Display" means that it surpasses the limits of human vision, they are telling the truth.  Making the ppi any higher is just taxing the processing resources for no visible purpose.

 

Agreed. I think. I suppose it's possible that a higher pixel density will actually look better though. Perhaps more pixels look better even when they're too small to be perceived individually? Seems unlikely though, doesn't it?

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by macFanDave View Post

It's like all that "frame rate" hooey that was so big a few years ago.  People perceive motion to be continuous at 24-30 frames per second.  Those who say they can detect an improvement at higher rates are either liars or outliers.

 

Perhaps that's true with games (I don't know, I don't have any nor would I have a way of testing that if I did) but the effect of increased frame rate is very easily seen with video. More frames per given interval allows for a shorter exposure per frame, hence much less motion blur. It's quite striking to see high-quality video shot at 60 fps. So much so that some people really hate it.

 

That motion blur is part of the difference we used to perceive between the cinematic "film look" and TV news camera video, and is why indy filmmakers got so excited when 24 fps second video cameras hit the scene. I can't decide if that look is popular because it's what we're used to and we associate it with high-end production or if it's a characteristic of human perception to prefer blurry motion.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

The HTC One crams a 1080p-resolution screen, the equivalent of a full-fledged high-resolution television, into a 4.7-inch space. That's more than 2 million pixels, putting it at a density substantially higher than Apple's iPhone 5.

 

That strikes me as the perfect screen - one-to-one pixel representation of HD video at a size large enough to see roughly half a web page at legible scale.

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