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

in iPhone edited January 2014
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.


  • Reply 1 of 158
    anantksundaramanantksundaram Posts: 20,324member
    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....)
  • Reply 2 of 158
    rob bonnerrob bonner Posts: 237member

    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.

  • Reply 3 of 158
    zoolookzoolook Posts: 657member
  • Reply 4 of 158
    jusephejusephe Posts: 108member
    That equals an very strange resolution of about 1632 by 919 pixels. And about [B]468 ppi[/B] !

    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.
  • Reply 5 of 158
    brutus009brutus009 Posts: 356member

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

  • Reply 6 of 158
    socratessocrates Posts: 261member

    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.

  • Reply 7 of 158
    steven n.steven n. Posts: 1,226member
    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.
  • Reply 8 of 158
    zoffdinozoffdino Posts: 192member
    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?
  • Reply 9 of 158
    ingelaingela Posts: 217member

    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.

  • Reply 10 of 158
    bcodebcode Posts: 141member
    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.
  • Reply 11 of 158
    I think it only makes sense if it is used for 3D: full res for each eye.
  • Reply 12 of 158
    realwarderrealwarder Posts: 136member


    Originally Posted by Zoolook View Post


    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.

  • Reply 13 of 158
    phone-ui-guyphone-ui-guy Posts: 1,019member
    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.
  • Reply 14 of 158
    macapfelmacapfel Posts: 571member

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

  • Reply 15 of 158
    jetlawjetlaw Posts: 156member
    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?
  • Reply 16 of 158
    macfandavemacfandave Posts: 603member

    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.

  • Reply 17 of 158
    kdarlingkdarling Posts: 1,640member


    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.

  • Reply 18 of 158
    gtrgtr Posts: 3,231member
    Bollocks, for the iPhone, at least.

    Nothing that our eyes will notice.

    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.
  • Reply 19 of 158
    paxmanpaxman Posts: 4,705member

    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.

  • Reply 20 of 158
    isaidsoisaidso Posts: 750member

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

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