Yet more widescreen iPhone 5 rumors have hit the web this morning, with a whisper that at least one of Apple's multiple iPhone 5 prototypes boasts a 3.9 inch touchscreen with a 1136 x 640 resolution. This by way of 9to5Mac which claims two of the larger-screen devices are code-named N41AP (5,1) and N42AP (5,2), and would have an aspect ratio around 16:9 to accommodate widescreen videos. Supposedly iOS 6, expected to make its debut at WWDC this June, will be fully optimized to make use of the additional screen real estate. For example, they claim we can expect an extra row of icons on the home screen, as illustrated in many mock-ups. 9to5Mac also claims the iPhone 5 will have a smaller size micro dock connector port, a rumor first published by iMore by in February.
iMore has also been told Apple is keeping the Home button, which means an extra long screen can't occupy the same space as that button. So, either the front would have to be moved around to accommodate it, the entire phone would have to be lengthened, or both.
We've already commented at length about a 4-inch iPhone 5, and there are a lot of reasons that make such a change reasonable. Android devices have been ballooning in size over the last year or two, while Apple has kept the iPhone at its original 3.5 inch screen size. Personally, I welcome the extra area, particularly if it's maintaining the same Retina sharpness that we've grown accustomed to since the iPhone 4. I have no doubts that Apple will at the very least maintain its current battery life levels, but that may be a steep challenge if the iPhone 5 comes with a hotter processor as well as a bigger screen. What I worry most about is estranging iOS app developers with increased fragmentation. Given Apple went a long time at the same screen ratio, we've already seen many devs skip optimization for the new iPad's Retina display; would Apple really change the aspect ratio further complicate the lives of app-makers, or do they have much of a choice?
If Apple does go to close to 4 inches with the iPhone, would you prefer a wider screen, 16:9 aspect ratio, or the same 2:3 aspect ration simply stretched larger?