iPhone 5 re-rumored to have a widescreen display, this time 3.9-inch 1136 x 640

iPhone 5 re-rumored to have a widescreen display, this time 3.9-inch 1136 x 640

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?

Source: 9to5Mac

Simon Sage

Editor-at-very-large at Mobile Nations, gamer, giant.

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iPhone 5 re-rumored to have a widescreen display, this time 3.9-inch 1136 x 640

33 Comments

a 3.9" screen is pretty small for 5 rows of icons. I doubt we'll see that. 3.9" is small, period. Too small for me to consider anyway.
Like it or not, 16x9 is where Apple needs to be, that's the standard. It's a mobile media device, not a camera.
Also it is much more likely that they'll trim bezel off the top of the phone and a bit off the bottom rather than what either of your renderings show. That makes for a much better and more balanced look, and is how the Android flagships are doing it.

Oh please. Only one phone on android has 16x9 and it's the nexus. I don't need my screen longer but larger!

No, the Nexus isn't the only one. Almost all new mid to high end Android phones are 960x540 qHD or 1280x720 HD, both of which are 16x9 resolutions.

16:9 is the standard for video, which is the thing I do least on my iPhone -- I'd rather it be better for reading (books, the Web, whatever) vs. being exactly suited to widescreen video. I used to think the iPad and iPhone should be 16:9, then I spent time using them alongside a Nexus S and for my use case, I vastly prefer something closer to 3:2 (though 9:5 would be okay).

I understand what you're saying. But in my opinion my 4.25" 16:9 phone is superior to the iPhone for reading and web browsing simply because of the significantly larger overall screen size.
And a lot of the hand wringing about what Apple should do is based on keeping things simple for developers. Well, 16:9 is the most popular standard today for TV media, consoles, PCs, and Android. If Apple really wants to keep things simple in the long run for developers they should use a standardized 16:9 resolution. Not this goofy 1136 x 640 stuff.
I actually believe Apple is intentionally using wacky resolutions to make it more difficult for developers to port to Android. This has worked well while on top, but as Android continues to grow, that difficulty goes both ways and may do more harm than good.

Why should Hardware be limited just to suit developers? Shouldn't developers adapt to change??? After all, Apple has to change the hardware at some point. The iPhone CAN'T stay the same forever just to suit devs....

Please, Apple, keep it at 3:2.
Oh, and screens that are far bigger than 4" are just a fad. A gimmick. Samsung in particular is trying almost everything they can think of, whether it makes sense or not, to differentiate themselves from Apple. (I.e. trying to avoid being sued by Apple.)
Bigger screens do have some benefits.
Bigger devices do not.

Awww man I was hoping they would make the iphone5 bigger than this.
I am switching to a used galaxy nexus
I'll pop in an extended battery and enjoy my giant screen goodness. So long Verizon iphone4. It's been real.
Hey is that a giant phone in your pocket or are you just happy to see me, actually I am happy to see you and no my phone is in the other room , how you doin?

Reading all these comments makes me upest because i do like the 16:9 idea, i for one do watch movies on my phone and this would make movies look 1000% better ,not only would the movies look better but the perfected touchscreen, apps, games and web browsing expirience would all gain from this . It would make the phone like the mini ipad to thus make these products interface together like we've never seen from any other company. I mean Apple Is Unique Right?!?!?.......

The problem with these rumors is that too many people are foolish enough to assume Apple only prototypes a final design.
If somebody snaps a photo of one million new front panels, odds are that it's the final design.
If somebody snaps a photo of one new front panel, it could be the final design, or it could be just one of hundreds of variations that'll never see the light of day outside of an Apple prototype lab.
All we can do is wonder and wait.

Isn't conversation about speculation what tech blogs are all about? I don't think anybody here is taking this as the final product. The discussion is about what we think of this particular scenario.

I don't see the big deal about a bigger screen. I've read here that if the screen stays the same you some were going to ditch the iPhone. Is it that serious? The screen is fine IMO

Thank you! Seriously, if screen size is the one and only thing that somebody is looking for in the next iPhone, they might as well just ditch iOS now and get an Android or WP7 device since the operating system is obviously inconsequential to them. Or just get an iPad, put Skype on it, and BAM! You have a phone that's bigger than all of the flagship smartphones out there! Though at the rate things are going, 8 to 10 inch Android phones will be the norm in 3 years or so...

maybe the Iphone 75 will have what every smartphone should have ...IE 4.3 inch display ....dial by name ....you know the normal simple things... BUT THATS FINE WE ALL WILL JUST KEEP GETTING SUCKED IN>

But wait....I thought everyone wanted a 3.5 inch screen so apple is never going to change that. Then again they will increase the size and sue every other manufacturer saying they were the first to invent that size screen....

I don't understand why everyone wants a bigger screen for the iPhone what about the one-handed Device screen the screen ain't broken don't fix it

At 3.9" you could still use one handed unless you have tiny tiny hands, which in that case the iphone screen now would be hard for you to use one handed.

If in fact the next iPhone switches to a 16:9 aspect ratio and grows vertically, but not horizontally, I am sure that if an iPad Mini shows up this year, it too will have the same 16:9 aspect ratio, although at a different resolution.
Although unlikely, I also might not be surprised if in the future, the iPad also switches ratios. Yes, maybe it might not be as comfortable for reading, but if over time every iOS device consolidates to this aspect ratio, it would work really well. iOS might be able to always scale iPhone or iPad apps to any future resolutions required for different screen sizes while maintaining "Retina" ppi.
Oh, and it also would nicely match the 16:9 ratio of a future iTelevision. How easy that any photo or video taken with any device would look the same on all devices.
Or maybe they are winging it.