Saturday Fun Leaks: Is this the 16x9 iPhone video?


We get leaked third generation iPhone pictures. Not all of them are compelling enough to post or link to, but every once and a while, something comes in that fires off the old brainstorms. See above.

This one was sent to us by Emanuel who said simply, "Hello, this is leaked Photo of the iPhone video coming out June 9."

iphone_video_wider_screenDate aside -- how tall is that screen now? Quite a bit taller than the current iPhones and iPods touch. We've heard rumors of a repositioned ear piece before, and this could certainly be a reason for it.

Not only is it taller, however, it's also exactly 16x9, that magical widescreen video ration the current iPhone achieves by letter-boxing, and what the Zune HD will have by going with a slimmer 272x480 display.

Apple can't cut pixels -- it would play havoc with all those 40,000ish apps that count on every single one of the current 320x480. Assuming Apple adds to them then, we'll be looking at 320x570.

Adding pixels wouldn't create the same problem for developers, since current apps would still fit on the wider screen. However, instead of having to letter-box video as much (some video is even wider than 16x9), Apple would suddenly be letter-boxing (or pillar-boxing) everything else. That doesn't sound like Apple.

We'll speculate after the break!

Enter our noble editor-in-chief, Dieter Bohn: "Hey, what if they just left the dock visible for everything but video. That would make app switching a lot faster."

Doing the math, the current iPhone dock is 90 pixels high. 480 (old screen height) + 90 (dock height) = 570, which looks to fit nicely into 16x9.

iphone_dock_on1Sure, landscape mode would require a dock that re-stacked vertically during transition. The current dock would likely also cause some problems for some users in an always-on implementation, coming too close to the menu tabs many apps use at the bottom of the current iPhone screen, and making the overall look a tad busy and cluttered.

The ability to auto-hide the dock like in Mac OS X (where you see pillar-boxes of black until you touch the area) could solve that. So could a whole new dock or approach to the home screen in general, which Daring Fireball's John Gruber had on his wish-list going back to Macworld 2009 in January.

So, let's break this back down. The picture above claims to be a leak of the iPhone video, available January 9. It has a 16x9 screen ratio. Do you think a) the picture could be real, b) the release date of June 9 could be real (it's been , c) Apple could go with an even wider, wide screen iPod, and d) if they do, how will they handle it for existing applications?

We have roughly 48hrs to figure it out for ourselves before Phil Schiller takes the keynote stage at WWDC and -- hopefully -- tells us for sure.

Have something to say about this story? Leave a comment! Need help with something else? Ask in our forums!

Rene Ritchie

EiC of iMore, EP of Mobile Nations, Apple analyst, co-host of Debug, Iterate, Vector, Review, and MacBreak Weekly podcasts. Cook, grappler, photon wrangler. Follow him on Twitter and Google+.

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Reader comments

Saturday Fun Leaks: Is this the 16x9 iPhone video?


Is that a typo? Or did you really mean to say the release date is January 9? If that's what you meant, I'm definately declaring this FALSE.

I'd trade a front facing camera for that aspect ratio. Also, the image is high res and doesn't look obviously shopped. This matches the bezel thing too. I think this could be legit.

The new screen size makes a ton of sense if you extend your logic one step. Forget video viewing which would in my opinion work as you stated. But now consider video editing. That would require a sizable screen size that the new configuration seems to handle. Plus, you would need something akin to the dock for editing tools. So, some of this makes sense.
Now that picture does not sell me. The bezel looks like it was marked up with a Sharpie and the ear piece doesn't look up to Apple standards for design. Call me a skeptic on the picture.

That looks absolutely photoshopped. And on top of it, that screen isn't 16x9, it looks too wide to be a 16x9 screen. Someone probably just used a clone stamp to widen the screen, and move up the speaker at the top and patched it up and put it on the web.
Can't we all just wait until WWDC!

It looks like it has seen better days.
Could also be a China-made knock-off. I see lots of these modified "iPhones" around.
A bigger screen would definitely be nice, but based on THIS picture alone? I say fake.

First thought upon seeing the picture was the power button sure does stick out mighty far. I don't see a rocker or mute switch either. The bezel looks like shit and the ear-piece isn't centered- it's almost touching the bezel. Fake.

Cmon guys, why do you post these obviously fake pics? This is one of the poorest photochops I've ever seen.

Sorry, that looks ugly. I really dislike the idea of an always-visible dock. I'm wondering if the space near the earpiece is big enough for the light and proximity sensors. Yes, I see that it's a little crooked at the top. Let's hope it's a fake or a China thing. Eww...

I love the idea / concept although the execution here is subpar. I think a 16x9 screen would be fantastic. I also think apple needs a way to better handle the doc / switching apps.

@Vukodlak RTFA
"Adding pixels wouldn’t create the same problem for developers, since current apps would still fit on the wider screen."

As much as I'd like to have easier app switching I doubt a persistent dock would be the means of choice for implementing it. It just doesn't look right. Also, I highly doubt that we will be seeing any drastic changes in screen resolution with the third generation iPhone. Apple is probably more concerned with app compatibility and consistency for now, considering that the App Store is barely a year old. Altering the resolution now may be too drastic a paradigm shift at this point in the iPhone's evolution.

Photo could be very real, using the whole face for the screen would be sweet. Release date one has found any FCC registration for this thing yet, and the Feds need more than one days notice to clear it.

Clearly photoshopped... about a quarter of the way down you can see the smudges and marks duplicated... whoever created this copied and pasted imagespace to elongate it. And yes, there's no reason for brand new phone to so scratched up.

there needs to be enough and equal space on either side of the screen in order to be held properly for games and what-not.

Sorry to mr/mrs "here is picture of iPhone video coming out June 9th." I call fake... And let's see them turn that puppy on!! I mean if they're going to hack up and fabricate something like that, let's at least see the benefit from it!!! No black bezel, no front face way!! I call this laughable. But hey while we're riding the gossip train submit the other pics you recieved just for gigs. LOL

It's funny because I've been asking for an application switcher for the longest. This will work however i think users should have their choice of either having recent app, the current dock or apps chosen them selves.
With the device. The Top part is not even straight.
So will there be another row ( row 5 ) of icons horizontally on the home screen ?
About the Safari menu bar - i think apple should make safari full screen with no bars. This way , we will see more on the screen. Maybe the time will show on the top bar but everything else should go. One tap on just text ( not links or pictures ) would bring everything up including the address bar.
Combine this screen size with the leaked image of the iPhone with the headphone jack on the bottom and you'll have a sexy device.

If that had a front-facing camera I'd get it in a second.. If not.... I might wait for the next iPhone seeing as I just got a new 3G replacement.

And all of you saying this is ugly.. Just wait till apple releases something incredibly similar to this and you will all ji.zz in your pants with hypocrisy!

To Adam
I know, Probably the person who had the phone had it or more than 1 month. I have mine, and after 2 weeks It looked worse. I think it is real 100 percent real
and it might be crooked because it is a prototype

I have mine nearly one year and it doesn't have any scratch. (I don't use a case!)
I dunno what you do with your phone!

I'm sorry, as much as I love the concept of us somehow getting better app switching, this just isn't it.
The whole design philosophy, which many people seem to forget, with the iPhone, is that in both portrait and landscape positions, the product is dimensionally symmetrical. This would be awful whenever used in landscape mode - your fingers would cover the far left of the screen.
An interesting concept, but Apple will not move from the beautiful symmetry they have accomplished, and they won't be changing the dimensions of the screen without more than a few months for developers to prepare.

Sony have gone to OLED. Apple must respond - cause they claim to offer the design pinnacle. So, no OLED tomorrow means a short refresh cycle to get something ready for the fall.

Such lame Photoshop here.
If this is a "new" iPhone, why are the sides all scratched up?
Plus, the earphone hole isn't even level and/or centered. Oh, and the black corner of the "live screen" area bumps right up against the bevel, debatably OVER the bevel. Not technologically possible.
In short, lame-oid.

I like the 'always visible' dock idea. Could Apple use this to allow the user to choose four apps that will be given 'background processing' privileges and to see the push alerts for those apps?