iPhone 5 Part Shows Bigger Display

| Rumor

A glass front that allegedly comes from the next generation iPhone appeared on a Chinese Web site over the weekend, leading to speculation that the new model will sport a larger display. If the photo is legit, it could add support to the rumor that the iPhone 5 will include a 4-inch display instead of the 3.5-inch display found on the iPhone 4.

Image courtesy of iDealsChina

The photo iDealsChina got ahold of shows a glass face that looks very much like an iPhone’s face, but with a larger space for a display. Like the current iPhone’s front, the glass in the image includes cut outs for the Home button, front-facing camera and speaker.

The Web site doesn’t offer any dimensions for the glass, nor does it say where the photo came from. Apple hasn’t officially announced the next iPhone model yet, and there isn’t a source that can verify where the photo came from, so the glass could be just another knock-off part out of China.

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I’ve got my fingers crossed that this really is the glass panel for the fifth generation iPhone?s touch screen. I’m hoping because the screen ratio looks more like 16:9 than the current and previous iPhone’s 3:2 ratio.

I copied the image and rotated it to horizontal, and then corrected it for the angle of view. Then I measured each side of the inner frame (where the touch screen would be) and calculated that it really is a 16:9 ratio.

If (and that’s a big “if”) this is the real deal, it’s great! One thing I’ve disliked about the iPhone is the 3:2 ratio screen. Whenever a video is playing you must either crop the sides off of it, or watch it reduced in size and letter-boxed.

At first, it might be thought that this has to be a fake since the iPhone has always had a 3:2 screen, and it’s unlikely that Apple would change this. But then again, there are a couple of good reasons why Apple would make this change.

1) Because just about every other smartphone on the market has a 16:9 screen, with newer screens being 4” and larger (which makes the iPhone’s 3.5” screen seem puny compared to all the others), and

2) Because Apple has started introducing FaceTime HD cameras which shoot 720p video with a 16:9 ratio. FaceTime HD will eventually be available in all Apple products, including the iPhone, so it makes perfect sense that the iPhone screen would be 16:9 too.

Another problem that might be conceived is that changing the screen to a wider ratio would “ruin” all of the existing iPhone apps, since they are designed for a 4:3 screen. A counter argument would be to look at what happened when Apple introduced the iPhone 4 with the Retina Display. Developers quickly created their next version apps with double the resolution, but older iPhone apps still ran without any problems on the Retina Display by pixel-doubling.

If (and it’s still a hope) Apple does go with a 16:9 screen on the iPhone 5, there would be no problem running older apps as they would probably be pillar-boxed (vertical black bars on the sides) on the wider screen. Developers would probably scramble to make their next version apps suited to the 16:9 ratio screen, just as they updated their apps for the Retina Display of the iPhone 4.

For a 4” 16:9 display, the likeliest resolution would probably keep the 640 pixel width of the current iPhone 4, and extend the current 960 pixel height to 1136 so that it met the 16:9 ratio.

This is all just guessing of course wink


iPhone 5 is out in June. Shall we not wait and see? Speculation is (a) non-productive; and (b) meaningless.


iPhone 5 is out in June. Shall we not wait and see? Speculation is (a) non-productive; and (b) meaningless.

... and (c) fun wink


Good points ViewRoyal. Speculation is the game that spurs discussion, Tom. Anticipation is a hoot made more interesting while waiting for the next iPhone’s announcement. Black bars takes care of legacy apps, eh?


I would be surprised and disappointed if Apple switched to a 16:9 ratio. The ONLY application that would benefit would be wide-screen video, which is less than 1% of my use for the phone.

16:9 creates a very narrow presentation in portrait mode, and a very short presentation in landscape. The change in aspect ration is not insignificant - it would require redesign of most apps to work well.

My speculation? The screen remains at 3.5 inches, but the overall size of the phone shrinks to the point where the screen is nearly edge-to-edge. That would be nifty.

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