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iPhone 3GS Can Play Back 720p, 1080p Source Videos?


Can the iPhone 3GS play back 720p and even 1080p source videos, perhaps even output them to an HDTV? Looks like it might, according to who claim to have gotten just such functionality working via the FileAid app.

Of course, we've heard the iPhone 3GS chipset was capable of recording in 720p before. Hey, this time last year we even heard the older, less-powerful iPhone 3G might be able to handle 1080p.

So, while not surprising, it's important to remember that the iPhone 3GS has a 320p (48display, actually playing the files on the device -- aside from heat and battery life concerns -- would result in downscaling to such an extent that it's pretty much pointless (perhaps why Apple doesn't surface it as a feature at this point?)

, it is interesting to consider given Apple has another music event just a couple weeks away, and that Microsoft is making noise about the Zune HD outputting 720p to an external display. If Apple could flip a switch in iPhone 3.1 and enable 720p or 1080p overkill out via AV cables (better yet -- HDMI cable!) then that's one less checkbox in competitors' corner, and one more feature for iPhone and iPod touch users to enjoy.

(Of course, bigger video means more storage, like 32GB in an iPhone and 64GB in a presumed third-gen iPhone touch... Hmm... Maybe I was only partially crazy to predict an iPhone HD last year?)

[via iLounge]

Rene Ritchie

Editor-in-Chief of iMore, co-host of Iterate, Debug, Review, The TV Show, Vector, ZEN & TECH, and MacBreak Weekly podcasts. Cook, grappler, photon wrangler. Follow him on Twitter and Google+.

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There are 10 comments. Add yours.

Joe McG says:

You can't transmit anything over 480i over standard composite cables so it would take either component DVI or HDMI.

Al says:

Obviously Apple would have to come out with a new set of AV cables for this to work well but I don't think I want to hog iPhone space for something my MacBook pro already does.

Sisyphus says:

Apple already makes component-out cables - I'm assuming the iPhone or iPod in question will just downscale the output to match the cable.
What I really want to see is an HDMI-out cable, like Rene said :)

acroswel says:

Component cables can also output 480p, 720p, and 1080i.

Ben PIckering says:

This would make sense actually because I remember there being a report earlier in the year of how apple stores had been told to get rid of the iPhone cable stock. Everyone thought it was for the upcoming iPhone and maybe they were right. Heck, you didn't just think that 3.1 was going to be all bug fixes and minor improvements... Apple needs to roll out new features, and this would be a great one. To back that up, apple was told to make more of a presence in the living room, in which case making this seem ever more realistic. Hmm this should be one to watch...

jay0heavenly says:

I hope this isn't true...then I'll HAVE TO upgrade to the 3GS... I mean, it will then be a
I've been holding out since the release of the 3GS, but if they start outputting in 1080p to HDMI, and even thrown in the ability to stream movie rentals...than gosh darnit I'm in!

tripod says:

I don't think that you can transmit anything over 550 over standard composite cables. The component cables can be output in three different standards.

BG says:

As we now see, you were TOTALLY crazy to predict the HD iPhone last year!
My Prediction: Next year, Steve Jobs will move the screen on the front to the back, the back Apple logo to the front, the port from bottom to top, and the headphone jack from top to bottom.
The 128 gig iPhone will be released for $1000 more, with a 10 year contract with ATT. :-P

Nomi says:

ya right thats crap i tried it i dont see any hd video