Presumed front panel for the next iPhone leaked, Retina Display moniker feels threatened

Presumed front panel for the next iPhone leaked, Retina Display moniker feels threatened
UPDATED: It is speculative if the front panel picture below is the real deal, but we were tipped that LG actually has demonstrated a 4" IPS-LCD display with the mind-boggling 394ppi, so if the rumors about a 4-incher iPhone hold water, Apple probably has in mind precisely this UHD (for Ultra High Definition, we guess) display in mind for it. Thanks, Kevin!

A Chinese parts reseller has posted for the world to see what it claims to be the front panel of one of three alleged prototypes being tested of the next Apple iPhone.

The panel is said to have an opening for a 4" display, and we guess the other two models being tested are one with the standard 3.5-incher, and one for the cheaper iPhone we heard so much about already. The bezel also looks way thinner, especially on the sides, so the overall dimension might not change much.

Regardless if this thing is true or not, Dr. Soneira from DisplayMate, who is often cited regarding the qualities of mobile screens, states that in order to keep the same resolution of 640x960 pixels for a 4" display, the pixel density will have to go down. The 3.5" screen on the iPhone 4 has 326ppi, and the threshold for calling it a Retina Display is unofficially around the 300ppi mark.

If the next iPhone has a version with a 4" screen, and keeps the same 640x960 resolution, it will go down to about 285ppi, which is below the Retina Display specs. Not that it is dealbreaker, except for marketing purposes, considering the next best thing currently on the market is the 540x960 qHD res of the Motorola ATRIX 4G, which, however, is rumored to have the PenTile matrix arrangement that effectively lowers the official resolution, since it uses less subpixels per pixel to achieve it.

If Apple wants to keep the 300ppi + specs, it will have to grow the res to 1097 pixels, which will really mess up with what most apps for the iPhone 4 are targeting. Or, alternatively, it can be bumped on both sides to 768x1024 pixels (iPad's resolution), and achieve 320ppi. Is it possible and worth it doing that, as opposed to just not calling the alleged 4-incher Retina Display anymore? We'll leave that for Apple to decide.

LG has demonstrated an IPS-LCD last summer, of the 3.98" size, with 394ppi, and has named it UHD display, so if a 4" iPhone is to appear this summer, and the display can be mass produced on time, this one is most likely to appear in it. It would mean an impressive 1000+ pixel count both horizontally and vertically, so we can't wait for more leaks (or tips) to shed some light on that.

For more information about the merits of the different display technologies and resolutions, you can read our article here.

source:  PCMag & LG



1. 530gemini

Posts: 2198; Member since: Sep 09, 2010

You win some, you lose some. It would still be a crisp display even if it loses its 326ppi mark, so for me, bumping it up to 4inches would still be a good thing.

13. Lucas777

Posts: 2137; Member since: Jan 06, 2011

Okay just saying but this photo is obviously fake... look at the black part on the left. the line is crooked... if u rotate the picture a little it is easy to tell...

14. JeffdaBeat unregistered

I completely agree. For now, if you transplant Retina Display to a 4 inch screen, it will still be the best resolution on the market. Still, I'd love Retina Display on a 4-inch iPhone. I know developers probably wouldn't be happy updating graphics for the even larger resolution again. But they could also choose not to, in which case the iPhone will stretch the resolution to make it fit. I think 4-inches is about the limit I'd go with a smartphone screen. The Samsung Captivate feels great in the hand and the screen is just the right size. The HTC Inspire is .3 inches larger and it just feels too big.

2. Zylam

Posts: 1817; Member since: Oct 20, 2010

Yea this is definitely interesting where Apple would go from here as a 4incher needed but that "Retina" tag is probably a tag Apple wanna keep. I predict one of the following, 1. They go with the current Retina Specs of 960 by 640 on a 4 inch and Steve just says that since the display is larger, you hold the phone further away and therefore 285ppi still achives the "Retina" phenomena remember they stated the 300ppi creates Retina as an approximation of how far you hold the phone 2. As you mentioned they go the way of the iPad, this will probably sound good to them as the Apps will be more "equal" over the iPad and iPhone and devs could be told in a softer way as to uping the res to something thats already laid out and would also make Apple feel better about leaving the iPad at its current level. 3. They Lose the Retina, go with 4 inch and in the next gen iphone bring back the Retina with iPad resolution and in that year the iPad will be able to survive another year on its current level.. or perhaps it may get a bump too. 4. They keep 3.5 on this and come out with 4inch Retina for the iphone after this. So they do have a few choices and its Apple, even if they lose the Retina it'll still fly off the shelves.

3. BrownBoy unregistered

Don't do it. A lot of people love the iphone for its perfect size. The 3.5inch display is perfect. 4" to 4.3" phones are just too bulky. One of the reasons I went for the verizon Iphone instead of getting a gigantic tablet 4g phone like the thunderbolt

7. sam_tek

Posts: 105; Member since: Feb 18, 2011

I'd like to meet "your lot of people" !

12. Lucas777

Posts: 2137; Member since: Jan 06, 2011

I agree with what you say, but apple would keep the same shape and size of the phone, but make it bigger

4. Akinaro unregistered

If its 4 inch screen, new iPhone will be BIG! Because of non-panoramic res, width of phone will be 6,86cm, comparing to atrix= 6,35cm or LG optimus 2x= 6,32cm and iPhone 4= 5,86cm. its about 0.5cm difference but in real life even that can change everything(feel of phone, every day usage)... so I thing it will be 3.8inch screen, more than that is to much.

5. loolcom

Posts: 13; Member since: Feb 15, 2011

I will not give up a retina display over a 4incher non retina display !

6. calamazoo unregistered

i'd give up resolution for a bigger screen any day, you just can't go back to a smaller one when you've used a 4 inch screen. I guess that's why Apple might have more than one version in the works this year. We'll see...

8. antbed unregistered

Bigger is always bettr n my opinion wen it cums to phones...i hve a dell streak 5 and a mytouch 4g. Which one do u think i surf the web ans watch vids on...? I dnt think tht all big screen phones r bulky. Usually the newer big phones r thin. And plus y shud dat matter wen most ppl intend on gettin otter boxes for their iphone n e way...

9. oh_hai unregistered

this is a photoshop picture its already been confirned so dont get too excited since its fake


Posts: 3131; Member since: Jan 12, 2010

Steve Jobs has said before that he will not change the iPhone's screen size as anything larger than 3.5 is too large and nobody will buy them. As stupid as that statement is about people not buying phones due to 4+ inch displays, he's probably not going to make a 4 inch iphone. If they made huge changes to the iphone itself, they really wouldn't have to make the device any bigger. I have seen video comparisons of the iphone 4(3.5) and the thunderbolt(4.3) and the thunderbolt is only a little longer and wider than the iphone. The iphone has way too much wasted space that if changed, they could easily make a iphone with a 4 inch screen.

11. Celly unregistered

1024 x 768? Are you you guys that stupid? 1024 x 768 is a 4:3 aspect ratio, and the casing shown here is clearly NOT 4:3 aspect ratio. My bet is that we'll see a 1024 x 680 resolution which is nearly the same aspect ratio they're running right now. This will allow new iPhone apps to port over to iPad with a loss of fewer than 90 pixels on one edge and zero loss on the other. It will also still allow legacy 960 x 640 applications to run on the new iPhone by simply leaving a few pixels empty around the borders. It adds slightly more screen real estate without disrupting the existing environment.

15. calamazoo unregistered

yes, but that panel might not be the real deal at all,who knows what Apple has in mind, this UHD display with the 394ppi sounds most likely, but then the iPhone will still cost north of $600, I bet this display won't come cheap...

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