9to5Mac now lifts the cover off that secret, saying that the new iPhone 6 will have a screen with a resolution of 1704 x 960 pixels, much higher than the current 1136 x 640 pixels on the iPhone 5s. How did it arrive at this strange number, though?
For this, we have to look at the evolution of the iPhone series starting with the very first one, introduced way back in 2007. The original iPhone had a 3.5-inch display with a base resolution of 320 x 480 pixels, and Apple kept this resolution for three generations.
The iPhone 6 could have a higher resolution
Fast forward two years, and with the iPhone 5, Apple increased the 3.5-inch size of the iPhone to 4 inches, introducing the new 16:9 aspect ratio that iPhones have up to this day. But while the resolution made the jump to 1136 x 640 with the iPhone 5 (and 5s), the effective pixel density did not change and remained at 326ppi.
Now, there are reasons to believe that just like Apple effectively ‘doubled’ the base 320 x 480 screen resolution with the iPhone 4, it will triple it with the iPhone 6, but preserving the 16:9 aspect ratio of the iPhone 5. That’s where the 1704 x 960-pixel resolution idea comes from: if you triple a base 16:9 resolution of 568 x 320 pixels (half the 1136 x 640-pixel res of the iPhone 5), you arrive at this new number.
This triple scaling will allow an easier transition for developers who will allegedly get the software tools to scale graphics and update their applications.
The new resolution is said to be tested at Apple already, and if the two new iPhones launch with it, here’s how they’d look like:
- iPhone 6, 4.7-inch display pixel density: 416ppi
- iPhone 6, 5.5-inch display pixel density: 355ppi
In terms of the looks of iOS, though, not much will change. Apple is expected to simply make icons appear bigger, keeping the same overall aesthetics.
Apple A8 details
Apple A8 chip to bring battery life improvementsMost interestingly, the new iPhones are also said to get Apple’s new A8 system-on-a-chip that will bring only slight speed improvement, but will instead receive a big efficiency power-up to improve battery life.
The Apple A8 will be key to this new iPhone preserving the buttery smooth speeds that iOS is well known for, as the new and higher resolution will certainly put more strain on the system and battery.
Finally, Apple is also said to include voice-over-LTE support in the iPhone 6, as well as change hardware components like the display to a sapphire one that is even tougher, less prone to scratches.