There's a rumor going around that Apple might be considering going to @4x -- a "Super Retina" for a future iPhone display. Apple went to @2x, from 320x480 at 163ppi to 640x960 at 326ppi for the iPhone 4 Retina display, and lengthened it to 640x1136 at the same 326ppi for the iPhone 5's 4-inch widescreen display. These days, however, Android phones are shipping with 1080x1920 (1080p) displays at well over 400ppi.
So, to leap ahead again, and to keep things just as easy on the apps as the last big density increase, in some theoretical universe Apple could just double again to @4X, right?
Well, I did the math on a 5-inch, @4x display back in January and here's how it works out:
Going to to @4x with a 4-inch display, to put it just as bluntly, is even more batshit insane. Until humans grow hawk eyes, there's just no need. If an when Apple goes to 5-inches, maybe @3x will make sense, or maybe a more painful switch to the 1080p standard. Maybe there's even something in the Apple labs that does 2x Retina in a very different way than what's being reported right now...
Anyone actually want to see Super Retina display any time soon?
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Rene Ritchie is one of the most respected Apple analysts in the business, reaching a combined audience of over 40 million readers a month. His YouTube channel, Vector, has over 90 thousand subscribers and 14 million views and his podcasts, including Debug, have been downloaded over 20 million times. He also regularly co-hosts MacBreak Weekly for the TWiT network and co-hosted CES Live! and Talk Mobile. Based in Montreal, Rene is a former director of product marketing, web developer, and graphic designer. He's authored several books and appeared on numerous television and radio segments to discuss Apple and the technology industry. When not working, he likes to cook, grapple, and spend time with his friends and family.