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You are here: MacNN Forums > Hardware - Troubleshooting and Discussion > iPhone, iPad & iPod > A 4" iPhone? Here's how.

A 4" iPhone? Here's how.
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lpkmckenna
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Apr 10, 2012, 09:20 PM
 
The Verge: The 4 inch iPhone 5.

An idea so simple it would certainly work: keep the short side of the screen the same, make the long side longer.

Unmodified apps would still run in the centre of the screen, and modifying apps would be pretty straightforward.

And, the phone would be perfect for watching wide-screen video.

     
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Apr 10, 2012, 09:22 PM
 
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The solution is certainly smart.

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hyteckit
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Apr 10, 2012, 09:48 PM
 
Seems like a good idea.

But now there would be 3 resolutions for developers to support.
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OAW
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Apr 10, 2012, 09:59 PM
 
One of the things I like about the iPhone is that I can easily put it in my front pocket and take it out. If a larger screen impedes that I for one would rather Apple left well enough alone.

OAW
     
Eug
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Apr 10, 2012, 10:04 PM
 
Uh, we talked about this about 2 years ago.

I think some came to the conclusion a longer and slightly wider iPhone screen at the same resolution but with less bezel would be preferred. Nothing over 4 inches though. Note though that the length of the phone does NOT have to change much in order to fit a longer screen. However, it's still possible to increase the width of the screen slightly.

And no, the retina display doesn't need to be 326 ppi.
( Last edited by Eug; Apr 10, 2012 at 10:15 PM. )
     
kmkkid
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Apr 10, 2012, 10:14 PM
 
Makes sense.

Current Apps just run normally with the dock showing (preferably a revamped dock, which incorporates multitasking), and new 'fullscreen' apps hide the dock, which will show with a slide up gesture.

First iOS features to OS X, now OS X features to iOS.

Done, and Done.
     
lpkmckenna  (op)
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Apr 10, 2012, 10:28 PM
 
Originally Posted by kmkkid View Post
Current Apps just run normally with the dock showing (preferably a revamped dock, which incorporates multitasking), and new 'fullscreen' apps hide the dock, which will show with a slide up gesture.
I don't think that's gonna happen. Apple isn't gonna move away from the current method of app-switching with the double Home press, and they aren't gonna display the Dock while apps are running.
     
OAW
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Apr 10, 2012, 10:30 PM
 
A larger screen in the same shell would be fine. But I for one don't want a bigger shell.

OAW
     
Eug
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Apr 10, 2012, 11:20 PM
 
Originally Posted by OAW View Post
A larger screen in the same shell would be fine. But I for one don't want a bigger shell.
For me it depends on how much bigger. Would you accept a 2 mm increase in width? I would. A 2 mm increase in width is less than putting a thin plastic case around the iPhone. If you could also decrease the screen bezel on the sides by 2 mm (or 1 mm on each side), that would mean an overall screen width of 5.4 cm, which is 0.4 cm wider than the current 5.0 cm.

For the length, with the same 960x640 resolution and same 3:2 aspect ratio, that would mean a screen height of 8.1 cm, vs. the current 7.5 cm, and a new diagonal of 9.735 cm or new 3.83" screen size. Despite the 0.6 cm increase in screen length (vs. 0.4 cm increase in screen width), you could actually get away with the same 2 mm increase for overall iPhone length, because there is more bezel at the top and bottom than at the sides.

That would also decrease the screen's pixel density from the current ~325 ppi to 301 ppi. That would still qualify as Jobs' "retina display", being denser than that arbitrary cutoff of 300 ppi, and I think it would be an improvement in readability.

---

Short summary:

Increase the height and width of the iPhone each by 2 mm, and you can increase the screen height and width by 6 mm and 4 mm respectively by reducing bezel size.
Keeping the same 960x640 resolution, you would increase the screen size from 3.5" to 3.8" and reduce the pixel density to a more readable 301 ppi.
( Last edited by Eug; Apr 10, 2012 at 11:27 PM. )
     
mduell
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Apr 10, 2012, 11:32 PM
 
No reason to change the aspect ratio... nobody cares about their icons becoming 14% wider.
     
Eug
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Apr 10, 2012, 11:41 PM
 
Originally Posted by mduell View Post
No reason to change the aspect ratio... nobody cares about their icons becoming 14% wider.
If you're talking to me, the aspect ratio doesn't change. Check the math.



Even though the height and width of the iPhone are both only changing by 2 mm, the screen height and width change by 6 mm and 4 mm respectively (an increase of 8%), because of reductions of the bezel border, thereby keeping the aspect ratio the same. (The square buttons remain square in my example.)

However, the bigger screen gives more readable text at normal viewing distances.
( Last edited by Eug; Apr 10, 2012 at 11:53 PM. )
     
Waragainstsleep
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Apr 11, 2012, 05:11 AM
 
It amazes me how much people care about this sort of thing (except those who design them for a living).

I have no complaints about my 4S screen. If you think back to 10 or 12 years ago and the phones you had then, you'd probably care less too.
I have plenty of more important things to do, if only I could bring myself to do them....
     
Spheric Harlot
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Apr 11, 2012, 05:25 AM
 
I'm still missing the "why".

Just so people can have a more, er, "immersive" movie experience when watching big-screen cinema on a four-inch device?
     
Salty
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Apr 11, 2012, 05:37 AM
 
Assuming they kept the aspect ratio and current resolution I'd be fine with that. Having a bit more space to work with wouldn't be a bad thing, and 4 inches could probably feel big enough for a lot of people. Frankly a lot of the Android phones out there look really nice and look thin when you compare how much screen you have to the thickness of the phone.

A guy at work has a Galaxy Note which I do think is too big for a phone, but it also looks really impressive when you see him holding it just because of the thickness compared to the screen. It's the same effect as the iPad has.

Frankly, lately I have felt as if the iPhone felt a little small compared to some of the Android offerings and I don't feel as if the smallness of it is a real selling point.
     
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Apr 11, 2012, 08:50 AM
 
Originally Posted by Spheric Harlot View Post
I'm still missing the "why".

Just so people can have a more, er, "immersive" movie experience when watching big-screen cinema on a four-inch device?
I'm thinking some sort of multitasking, like those tiles that MS is pushing.
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ort888
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Apr 11, 2012, 10:08 AM
 
I don't buy it. Having two different aspect ratios just seems like they are asking for trouble.

I think they are going to move in a slightly new direction.

Split the iPhone line into two models. A super slim, 3.5" model and a larger 4"+ model.

Keep the same aspect ratio, just bump up the screen size. It will probably fall below "retina" quality, but whatever. I don't think most people will care.

My sig is 1 pixel too big.
     
d4nth3m4n
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Apr 11, 2012, 10:58 AM
 
Agreed, why? Does this take the screen to 16:9 or something for full screen hd or something?
     
mduell
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Apr 11, 2012, 11:11 AM
 
Originally Posted by Eug View Post
If you're talking to me, the aspect ratio doesn't change. Check the math.
I'm saying don't change the AR, keep it 3:2, just make it a 4" device with 15% taller/wider pixels.

Originally Posted by d4nth3m4n View Post
Agreed, why? Does this take the screen to 16:9 or something for full screen hd or something?
No, it will still be quarter HD (commonly abbreviated qHD).
     
imitchellg5
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Apr 11, 2012, 11:41 AM
 
Originally Posted by ort888 View Post
I don't buy it. Having two different aspect ratios just seems like they are asking for trouble.

I think they are going to move in a slightly new direction.

Split the iPhone line into two models. A super slim, 3.5" model and a larger 4"+ model.

Keep the same aspect ratio, just bump up the screen size. It will probably fall below "retina" quality, but whatever. I don't think most people will care.
Did you even read the post on The Verge?

9:5 aspect ratio is really quite good on a phone. I've had a 9:5 phone for the past two years now and going back to 4:3 feels odd. There's simply a lot more vertical space, which means less scrolling throughout the experience, which is generally positive. You also get a bit more room on the keyboard as well, which I think is great.
     
ajprice
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Apr 11, 2012, 12:08 PM
 
Originally Posted by d4nth3m4n View Post
Agreed, why? Does this take the screen to 16:9 or something for full screen hd or something?
As it says in the OP article, it's 7 pixels off 16:9, so on a 640x1152 resolution you get 7 pixels of black bars at the sides, or zoom in and lose 4 pixels vertically. Thats near enough to make no difference for me.

Proper widescreen for video, vertical space for text and apps. That's win/win isn't it?

It'll be much easier if you just comply.
     
lpkmckenna  (op)
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Apr 11, 2012, 12:22 PM
 
Originally Posted by ajprice View Post
Proper widescreen for video, vertical space for text and apps. That's win/win isn't it?
I certainly think so.
     
Eug
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Apr 11, 2012, 12:28 PM
 
Originally Posted by mduell View Post
I'm saying don't change the AR, keep it 3:2, just make it a 4" device with 15% taller/wider pixels.
My math keeps the AR, but makes it a 3.8" device with 8% taller/wider pixels.

I have small hands so I don't want to see the phone get too big. 15% wider would be pushing it.

Originally Posted by ajprice View Post
As it says in the OP article, it's 7 pixels off 16:9, so on a 640x1152 resolution you get 7 pixels of black bars at the sides, or zoom in and lose 4 pixels vertically. Thats near enough to make no difference for me.

Proper widescreen for video, vertical space for text and apps. That's win/win isn't it?
That is a win/win, although a bit of an annoyance for the app makers.
     
lpkmckenna  (op)
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May 16, 2012, 03:14 PM
 
The Wall Street Journal is claiming the 4" iPhone is coming but there's no mention of a longer screen. Apple Moves to Increase iPhone Screen Size - WSJ.com
     
Eug
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May 16, 2012, 05:59 PM
 
Reuters says the same thing.

Apple readies iPhone with bigger screen: sources | Reuters

I'm still voting for a 960x640 screen, which would put it in the 288-290 ppi range, which is at the bottom of limit of what I would guess to be "retina". 300 is what Jobs said was retina, but 290 is good enough.

Hell, even the iPad 3 is only 264 ppi, although people may hold the iPad 3 further away.
     
   
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