Toshiba announce a 4-inch 720p display, could this be for the next iPhone?

Toshiba has announced its line-up of products it will show off at SID Display Week 2011 this week and one of them will be 4-inches and 720p HD.

The mobile section of the booth will feature high-resolution LTPS displays, up to 367ppi (pixels per inch) resolution density, in sizes ranging from 3.3-inch to 4.0-inch with resolution formats ranging from Wide VGA (480 x 864) to HD (720 x 1280). In addition, these displays will demonstrate advanced technologies such as high-contrast (up to 1,500:1), high-color (up to 92% NTSC), and wide viewing angle (up to H/V 176º/176º). The displays are just a few representative examples of TMD's broad line of thin and light displays for mobile smartphones and other portable electronic devices.

Rumors have been circulating for a while now that Toshiba was building a plant to specifically supply Apple with LCD screens for iPhone models. Could this be the reason? Maybe, may not.

The iPhone 3GS has a resolution of 480 x 320, the iPhone 4 has double that at 960 x 640 and the new Toshiba display has a resolution of 1280 x 720. iPhone 4's 960 x 640 was the same 4:3 aspect ration exactly double the previous generations 480 x 320, and was therefore broadly compatible. 1280 x 720 is not only incompatible in terms of resolution but in terms of aspect ratio.

Rumors are still pointing to the next generation iPhone being delayed until later this year. It would appear that this timeframe is still too soon to see these panels. But what about iPhone 6?

Apple hasn't fragmented iPhone displays in the past, would they in the future? And could they come up with some resolution magic so developers aren't left with the headache of writing apps for multiple different screen resolutions?

[Toshiba via TUAW]

 

chrisoldroyd

UK editor at iMore, mobile technology lover and air conditioning design engineer.

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There are 27 comments. Add yours.

Carioca32 says:

Apple already has a great display, there is no need to fragment resolutions. Makes more sense to Android phones that are still running to catch up.

bz0n3 says:

I just want a ef'n 320GB iPod Classic!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Dood says:

The what are you doing on an iPhone site.

Rob says:

Ewwww. Have you ever seen an oled screen. Whites look blue and everything else looks dark.

toxicious says:

Why would they put a 720p Display on the iPhone when iPad 2 didn't got it? Nope, I don't think the iPhone 5 will have a 720p display.

Dood says:

It "didn't got it" because the iPad 2 is a past product. The next generation iPhone is a future product. This is how products evolve.

fastlane says:

What do you know? You were wrong about the iPhone 4.
http://tinyurl.com/3uyfvf7
:lol:

Dood says:

I can see you're still clearly butthurt over that, but I wasn't wrong. The debate before was about the white iPhone 4 being released months before the next generation iPhone. They (haven't officially announced) delayed the next generation iPhone unveiling back by 4 months...so I was right. Apple wouldn't release a white iPhone 4 two months before unveiling a next generation iPhone.
I can see how this is tough for you to understand, but bringing up this past comment that you're so upset about also has nothing to do with what I said above about the iPad.
In short - you're still a beej.

Sven says:

hmmm... 480x320 & 960x620 are both 3:2, not 4:3.

jasondeno says:

Actually, ALL recent releases from Apple have different resolutions-
3gs to 4 (just doubled)
ipad platform is different
ipad to ipad 4 (just doubled)
So it wouldn't be that unlikely for them to fragment once again. But I don't think we'll see this display this year. It would be nice to see them settle on something more standard (720p) though!

Rob says:

I don't think you have any idea what you are taking about. The iPad 2 (there is no iPad 4) has the same resolution as the original. The iPhone 4 has exactly double the resolution to PREVENT fragmentation. Fragmentation in smatphones is when one app won't run on a specific phone do to specs. A doubled resolution prevents this.

evil3 says:

Resolution of 960x640 versus that of 480x320 is not double. It is quadruple!

OmariJames says:

64GB please. 4 inch screen, Maybe slightly thinner , or not. Fix all the ' problems ' , no glass back. Thanks.

Deek says:

To be fair, in terms of Apple's incremental GB jumps following the iPod Touch, we should have had a 64GB iPhone 4 last year and this year should be a 128GB iPhone 5, but these are bubblegum wishes and childlike dreams which usually never come to fruition as long as the Apple Nazi, Steve Jobs, is at the helm. :|

SockRolid says:

Just a few points: 960 by 640 is 3:2, not 4:3. Also, doubling the linear resolution of a display results in a quadrupling of the pixel count and overall resolution.
And I doubt Apple would ever ship a 1280x720 screen on any iDevice. It's too narrow to use in portrait mode (16:9, or nearly 2:1). Leave that to the knee-jerk Android manufacturers. They'll jump on anything that has better specs than iPhone. Because specs are all they have.

SockRolid says:

Off topic, but I doubt any iPhone will have a curved back like that. Put it on a table, push the home button or tap on the screen, and it'll rock and spin. The back needs to be flat to avoid that.
Also, if you put one of those mockups on a table face-down, it would be extremely hard to pick it up. You'd need to lift the edge up with a fingernail or slide a sheet of paper under it.

Rufus says:

Bring on a 1920x1280 screen for iphone! 4x retina display, full HD!

mojonation1487 says:

personally I believe this will be for android. Not gonna be like some of the other guys and say thats fact, but just from seeing how things have progressed, it reeks of android. Which makes me happy. I frickin love android.