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An iPhone with a 4 inch screen could be the same size as the iPhone 4S

Posted: , by Scott H.

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An iPhone with a 4 inch screen could be the same size as the iPhone 4S
We’re going to see the Galaxy S3 introduced quite a while before the next iPhone, but that hasn’t slowed down the iPhone rumors any. Hot on the wish-list are a quad-core A6 CPU, LTE, and perhaps most intriguingly a 4” screen.

A 4” screen might seem like a no-brainer, but it presents problems of its own. Apple has long said that they like the form factor of the iPhone, and they have steadfastly refused to increase the size of the iPhone even as American’s shifted in preference to 4.3” devices. Another reason Apple has resisted increasing screen size is that it would create imaging problems – do they keep the same resolution and just add pixels (forcing developers to revamp all of their apps) or would they simply reduce the pixel density to make it easier on developers (at the expense of image quality)?

A new mockup shows that this may not have to be an either-or proposition. A programmer named Will Hains has mocked up an idea that would allow the next iPhone to retain the same size despite its 4” screen, while also solving the dual problems of resolution and app compatibility. The solution would be for Apple to change the aspect ratio of the screen, adopting a taller screen while preserving the same width.

The resulting screen would be 1152 x 640 pixels, and could actually fit within the current iPhone size, although the home button would have to either shrink or change size. The result would be one more row of icons on the home screen, although it would open up quite a lot more room for watching movies or playing games. The aspect ratio wouldn't quite match up with the 16:9 format that many movies and most HD TV programs adopt, but it would be very close - much closer than the current iPhone screen.

It would also allow the UIs of most apps to stay the same in terms of pixel density; perhaps by default and app could float above the four bottom buttons with no change at all until a developer made the minor changes to allow for a longer full-screen app experience.

Is this what Apple will do? Time will tell, but we have to admit that this feels like a very “Appley” solution to the problem. We have no idea whether or not the mockup’s styling has any bearing on the final product – and really that isn’t important here; the key is that all the rumors pointing to a 4” screen on the next iPhone may not require a radical overhaul of existing apps, nor a change in size of the phone itself.

What do you guys think – do you hope Apple adopts this screen solution in their next device?

An iPhone with a 4 inch screen could be the same size as the iPhone 4S

source: Good Will Blogging via Paris Lemon

55 Comments
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posted on 16 Apr 2012, 14:00 28

1. ScelesticSteve (Posts: 26; Member since: 29 Mar 2012)


Screen size is definitely a big factor for me. I hate to leave Apple, but it's possible I might shop around if the next iPhone doesn't have a larger screen. There are no high end devices that still come out with 3.5" screens. Also, Apple hasn't made a change to their 3.5" since 2007 when the first iPhone debuted. That's 5 years of having the same screen, and it's getting old. Out with the old, in with the new, Apple!!!

posted on 16 Apr 2012, 15:32 1

13. biophone (Posts: 1968; Member since: 15 Jun 2011)


While I agree its a bit outdated and I would like a bigger screen as well the fact they are the only ones with a high end 3.5 inch phone means that everyone who prefers a smaller screen but wants a high end phone the iPhone is the only choice.

posted on 16 Apr 2012, 16:49 6

27. marton.estok (Posts: 6; Member since: 13 Mar 2012)


thats just not true, how about HTC Radar w 3.8" screen?

posted on 16 Apr 2012, 18:17 6

35. ardent1 (Posts: 2000; Member since: 16 Apr 2011)


A lot people, especially the android camp, are caught up in screen size as measured diagonally as OPPOSED TO the total surface area. A 4" display with a 16:9 aspect ratio has LESS surface area than the same 4" display with 4:3 or even 3:2 aspect ratio, respective. I never liked HTC devices because the had 4" display but where very narrow like a thin rectangular. Instead I prefer something like the Pantech Pocket whose 4" display has 20% more surface area than a typical 4" narrow display.

If you like I can create a 4" display THAT HAS LESS surface area than Apple's 3.5" display. Again, go back to either your geometry or trigometry class -- it's easier to prove this with the law of cosines.

posted on 16 Apr 2012, 19:52

41. Mario1017 (Posts: 336; Member since: 04 Sep 2011)


I don't think it would have lesa surface area...the area would be the same if you measured. The lenthwould get bigger on a 16:9 display...but it will get thinner. The reverse for a 4:3. The surface area would not change at all like you said.

posted on 16 Apr 2012, 20:10 3

43. r41nier (Posts: 70; Member since: 13 Oct 2011)


wrong. I computed it.

a 4" phone with a 4:3 ratio would have a surface area of 7.68 inch^2 while a 4" phone with 16:9 ratio would have an area of 6.835 inch^2

the guy is right. you should go back to your geometry classes.

posted on 16 Apr 2012, 21:29 3

46. Mario1017 (Posts: 336; Member since: 04 Sep 2011)


ouch...that insult really hurt.

posted on 16 Apr 2012, 16:35 4

24. nnaatthhaannx2 (Posts: 820; Member since: 19 Oct 2011)


iPhones are very popular in schools.
Most children that are under 16 have phones nowadays.
The most popular phone among the children is the iPhone.
It's simple, and it fits the in hand prefectly for the kids.
After the kids use it, (believe it or not) the parents and relatives get one just to be cool.
True fact. I just wanted to point this out.
Also, young ones are attracted to the iPhone (iOS) because of the variety of games. Don't get me wrong here, Android has games, but in *overall quality* of games, iOS has a definate advantage.

posted on 16 Apr 2012, 18:14 3

34. mercorp (Posts: 1030; Member since: 28 Jan 2012)


yes,this is true.Nearly all my classmates want or have iphones.I think that i am among the few classmates who wants a galaxy s3.

posted on 16 Apr 2012, 17:59 2

32. ardent1 (Posts: 2000; Member since: 16 Apr 2011)


The screen size stayed at 3.5" but the introduction of the retina display set a new industry standard.

People need to understand that the iPhone is a phone first and smartphone second. Battery life is important for a phone since large displays works against battery life. Then there is the issue of 4G that uses up battery life quickly.

What Apple has done is to work on the battery life until it can support a larger display or better yet, a larger display and 4G. If you look at what Apple has done with the battery technology for its iPad series, then expect great things for the iPhone 5.

I don't have an iPhone and the smallest screen I will accept is 3.7" and would prefer 3.8". The 4" screen in this article is not aestethically pleasing and is too narrow for my taste.

posted on 16 Apr 2012, 20:20

44. SeniorEd (Posts: 15; Member since: 16 Feb 2011)


I think Apple should stick with their 3:2 aspect ratio and go to a 4" diagonal. That would be perfect. Pixels would be 720 x 1080 and the actual screen dimensions would only change a little, so they could keep the phone fairly small. Width would increase by approximately .28" (and would be pretty much the same width as a 4.5" diagonal screen with 16:9 aspect ratio, like the LG Spectrum) and length would increase by approximately .42".

Because of the aspect ratio of 3:2, a 4 inch diagonal would give plenty of surface area for web browsing etc. Okay, Apple, make it so!!

posted on 16 Apr 2012, 20:29 3

45. TROLL (banned) (Posts: 4851; Member since: 13 Apr 2012)


O no that is ugly.... IP4 looks much better?!

posted on 17 Apr 2012, 06:02

52. ayephoner (Posts: 850; Member since: 09 Jun 2009)


i dont think the rendering does the concept much justice.

the article and mock up are just for screen size. im sure apple would make it much more visually appealing.

posted on 17 Apr 2012, 01:14

49. bvalde09 (Posts: 182; Member since: 22 Nov 2011)


I have to agree with you. The only difference is that I jumped the apple boat a while back. 5 Years and we are still waiting for a bigger Screen. I want to change my Phone (s2), but Im waiting on the SG3 or the Iphone 5. Its all about the specs and looks. Im not buying anything until I see both sides. If Iphone comes with something different I will Jump on the boat again. In the meantime Android fill all my needs

posted on 16 Apr 2012, 14:01 12

2. Mongre (Posts: 5; Member since: 06 Dec 2010)


No, Apple has kept the 4:3 ratio to keep it unified. If they change it to the 16:9, then it would drive the developers crazy because most of the apps won't work as well anymore.

posted on 16 Apr 2012, 14:39 6

7. galanoth (Posts: 425; Member since: 26 Nov 2011)


The iPhone has a 3:2 aspect ratio not 4:3 like on the iPad.

posted on 16 Apr 2012, 16:52 1

28. marton.estok (Posts: 6; Member since: 13 Mar 2012)


I'm not sure - perhaps apple will make a 16:9 screen, forcing ppl to switch to the new phone to enjoy the *revolutionary widescreen apps* :)

posted on 16 Apr 2012, 21:35 2

47. saiki4116 (Posts: 388; Member since: 31 Mar 2011)


that might be possible with Apple.They already taught us how to hold a phone,why not this.

posted on 16 Apr 2012, 14:03 4

3. Lift_Off (Posts: 152; Member since: 04 Apr 2012)


I just hope they dont go over 4" with the screen. I actually like the size of the ip4 (yes I have used an SII, note, and others) it fits very comfortably in my hand and it doesn't feel like i have a huge object in my pocket like the nexus does. It would be awesome if they can make the screen as big as they can without making the actual device much bigger

posted on 16 Apr 2012, 19:24 1

40. Lucas777 (Posts: 2137; Member since: 06 Jan 2011)


i agree… i definitely like the size.. and a bigger screen would be nice, but they better not make the phone bigger… this might be when those rumors of not having a home button finally come true

also i really like the 3:2 aspect ratio.. the screen is way bigger than other 3.7 or 3.8 because of it… and it just feels better because of its small nature… i suppose 4:3 would be more acceptable for a larger screen, but i dont really want 19:9

posted on 16 Apr 2012, 14:14 2

4. Captain_Doug (Posts: 1017; Member since: 10 Feb 2012)


Speaking strictly about screens, not OS, a 16X9 aspect ratio is better for just about everything i can think of. In this case, you're not losing any width of the screen so texting in portrait won't be any harder, you'll be able to view more web page data, watching videos in landscape is better (most movies are 16x9). I really can't think of a way that 4:3 is superior. Devs best not complain, it's not their say. Porting games/apps from other systems would be easier. Also, Scott H, your screen dimensions are off. You kept the 960 instead of the 640. The screen would be closer to 1152X640, which really, if I was "Apple", I'd probably just kick it to 1280X720. 720p resolution sounds a lot better than 1152x640...

edit= can anyone think of a reason why 4:3 aspect ratio is better than 16x9 on a phone?

posted on 16 Apr 2012, 16:10 1

23. Birds (Posts: 1164; Member since: 21 Nov 2011)


The iPhone screen is actually 3:2 aspect ratio which is in between 3:5, 3:5.33 (16:9) and 3:4. If they kept the same aspect ratio but mad either phone screen size larger like up to four inches, then it would be a great device for text messaging in portrait mode. Seriously, the iPhone's screen is alright for messaging as of now (I have large thumbs but they are quite nimble) but watching video is a pain in my iris....Just saying.

posted on 16 Apr 2012, 16:42 4

25. nnaatthhaannx2 (Posts: 820; Member since: 19 Oct 2011)


Yes, I can indeed:
1) Pocketability- the smaller the phone, the better it fits in your pocket
Don't forget that women often have MUCH smaller pockets than men --> attracting women towards the iPhone
2) Access to whole screen. It is easier to move your thumb side to side rather than up and down on a larger screen. Without moving your hand (and only using one hand) it is easier with a wider, but shorter screen.

That's all I can think of, but I do agree, but I think 16:10 is the real "sweet spot" (aka 1280*800)

posted on 16 Apr 2012, 14:34 4

5. sgtdisturbed47 (Posts: 658; Member since: 02 Feb 2012)


A 4" screen would be nice, but I do just fine with my iPhone 4 screen. A smaller screen also means better battery life.

posted on 17 Apr 2012, 01:04

48. Kalevro (Posts: 56; Member since: 11 Sep 2011)


I agree I like my iPhone 4 the way it is. I don't think Apple will change strategies because they are selling very well up to now and only a rating-popularity drop would make an effect on the hardware team leading to improvisations.

posted on 16 Apr 2012, 14:36

6. networkdood (Posts: 6330; Member since: 31 Mar 2010)


The home key could be the same size if the top bezel was thinner....

posted on 16 Apr 2012, 14:53

8. BattleBrat (Posts: 1476; Member since: 26 Oct 2011)


16;9 as I suspected.
I remember reading some Apple developer post that if apple just changed the Ratio to 16;9 without changing the resolution of the width it wouldn't be too bad, because all they'd have to do is space stuff out, but if they make the screen larger and increase the x and y resolution there would be a lot of work to do because they would have to rescale and resize all the objects...

posted on 16 Apr 2012, 15:09

9. shamataa (Posts: 218; Member since: 07 Dec 2011)


This is Apple. They have their own way of doing things. I think they like to play it safe and they never seem to take a big jump. If they dont bump it up to a 4.0 inch than it will lose the costumers fast and will want to use another phone.Better phones are coming out in the coming months with better specs and screens like the Samsung Galaxy S 3 , if they dont do something than it wil be overshadowed and it will be a 2nd rated phone regarless what they call it on the final product. Its already a 2nd rated company already since last year. You cant teach a old dog new tricks what what Apple seems to be doing. I just dont see Apple a big competitor anymore since last year. They never seem to take a leap of faith. Look at the ipad 2 to the ipad 3. not a big jump.

posted on 16 Apr 2012, 18:04 1

33. ardent1 (Posts: 2000; Member since: 16 Apr 2011)


Apple gives people what they want and the sales of the iPhones to date have supported this. Not only are the consumers happy, the Apple developers are happy as well.

It's funny how the critics never look at the hard data like number of units sold, customer satisfactory scores, and instead make up opinions that only make sense to themselves.

It's a phone and battery life is important. Plus it now has Siri in beta.

posted on 16 Apr 2012, 18:47 2

38. BattleBrat (Posts: 1476; Member since: 26 Oct 2011)


I had a 4s, it wouldn't last 12 hours just sitting there, and that was iOS 5.1. I got a RAZR, it lasts 2-3 DAYS, and has a 4.3 inch LED screen. I'm sorry but the 4s is horrid in the battery department. Which is wierd because the iPhone 4 was pretty good batterywise.

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