RUMOR: Modestly thicker next-gen iPad due in March, 4-inch iPhone 5 coming next summer

“The third-generation iPad will become modestly thicker (0.7mm) in order to accommodate the twin light bar system needed for its higher-resolution display. It’s currently on track for a March timeframe release,” Jeremy Horwitz reports for iLounge, citing his “most reliable source.”

The next-generation iPhone “will have a 4-inch display and will be 8mm longer than before, with a metal casing (probably aluminum). It is on track to be introduced in summer of 2012,” Horwitz reports. “This one is being built with LTE-ready battery drain in mind.”

More details in the full article, including rumors of a new thinner MacBook Pro, here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Dan K.” for the heads up.]

22 Comments

  1. Thicker??? Steve Jobs would have to be dead for apple to release their flagship product with a thickness increase.

    Oh wow, oh wow, oh wow. Now I know what he saw in those last moments.

    Not good.

    1. Do you know what 0.7mm looks like??

      About | That’s right, about |

      I would much rather have a tiny increase in thickness to achieve superior functionality. Until Apple can shift from backlit LCD to LED/OLED, that is a reasonable compromise to achieve an HD iPad display.

      As far as the increase in iPhone 5 length by 8mm, that surprises me a little bit. I have previously posted that Apple might be able to fit a 4″ display within the current iPhone 4 dimensions, but I thought that the width would be the constraining dimension, not the length. Even so, if Apple squeezes in a 4″ display and more battery, I’ll accept 8mm longer (roughly 1/3″).

        1. The Golden Ratio, which is an irrational number, is approximately 1.61803398874989.

          The height of the iPhone 4S is 4.5″ and its width is 2.31″ — a ratio of ~1.9481. So it is already not “golden.” Adding 8 mm to its height changes the ratio to ~2.0844, slightly less golden. It would screw up a lot of accessories if Apple made that change. But Apple always moves button around enough to do that anyway.

          I still think that Apple will try to fit a 4″ display in the current iPhone 4S form factor. However, if it takes 8mm in additional height to make it work, I say, “start stretching it.”

    1. 1

      It’s true that on the current iPhone the screen is perfectly sized for my thumb to reach the top left corner whilst holding it in the same hand.

      And that top corner is often used.

    2. I see one way Apple can use a 4-inch display without negatively changing the current user ergonomics. Make the screen 4 inches by adding to the top and bottom, without making it any wider side-to-side.

      When held vertically, this iPhone will use the same screen area as the current display, with the additional area (less than one-quarter inch) at the top and bottom ignored. So it will look and feel like the current iPhone. The front will only come in black (no white iPhone), so that there are no highly visible “black bars.”

      When held horizontally, for two-handed use, the full “wider” screen comes into play. Viewing videos will use the full screen. Game designers can use the full screen. Web browsing can use the full screen. eBook readers can use the full screen. Etc.

      Developers would have to support this new mode, just as developers added support to take advantage of the Retina Display when appropriate. But apps that are not updated for “wide screen” would still work fine horizontally, using the same screen area it did before (ignoring the extra area along the left and rich)

      The 8mm increase in length (with no increase in width) then makes sense, to allow sufficient space for the symmetrical “handles” at the top and bottom, where the Home bottom, ear speaker, camera, and sensors are located.

      1. Nope can’t change the aspect ratio that is a HUGE no-no

        The best they could do would be to make it a couple mm wider and nearly go edge to edge (across) with the display (the across is the critical dimension here for thumb operation.
        Large handed people would have much of a problem but woman in particular will be unable to hit that reverse upper corner.

        1. Read my post… As I said, when used in vertical orientation, that addition space would NOT be used. Therefore, it would “look and feel like the current iPhone.” That’s when we have one-handed use, and I agree that keeping the current usability is important.

          However, when held horizontally, the iPhone is typically used with both hands. And that is how I watch videos. I read eBooks and do web browsing in that orientation. And having more width to work (horizontally) with would be a big positive, and it would not cause any ergonomic problems.

          1. iOS devices have square pixels and a fixed aspect ratio. That is the reason that pixel doubling worked when Apple introduced the iPad and, later, the iPhone 4 with retina display.

            Your suggestion of a screen “extension” that is ignored in vertical mode and used in horizontal mode is certainly technically possible. That additional screen real estate could even be used in vertical mode for a dedicated user interface area. But your approach would add only about 160 pixels in landscape mode – from 960 x 640 pixels to around 1110 x 640 pixels. That is still not HD, not even 720p. It does not appear to me that your approach provides a favorable cost/benefit. If Apple is going to change the display size, then I strongly suspect that the aspect ratio will remain 3:2. And I don’t expect Apple to increase the number of pixels for a 4″ iPhone display, which means a decrease in pixel density to ~280ppi rather than 329ppi.

            Your idea is interesting, but I do not believe that it would be in Apple’s best interest to adopt it. Leave the wild fragmentation of aspect ratio and pixel count to the Android vendors.

            1. My actual prediction is that Apple will stay with the current Retina Display (with current aspect ratio) until the iOS release that has full resolution independence. Maybe the iOS release in 2013. That would be the first MAJOR overhaul of iOS and its GUI.

              With that release and pixel density that is equal to the current Retina Display, with an A4 or better to drive it, Apple could change the screen size without causing “fragmentation.” The user could smoothly and intuitively adjust the size of GUI elements, such as icons and text, to fit their preferences and needs. “Native” screen resolution would become irrelevant.

              In my post, I was speculating that IF Apple wanted the near-term iPhone to have a “4-inch” screen (for whatever reason), what I suggested would provide the maximum benefit without sacrificing current usability (in vertical orientation), DOWNgrading the “Retina” pixel density, or causing undue platform fragmentation (the “Android effect”). Existing app would run exactly as they do now, ignoring the extended part of the screen. Developers could enhance their apps to take advantage of “wide screen mode” when iPhone is held horizontally. Video playback would be significantly larger and better, using the extra width.

              “HD” on a mobile phone screen is not necessary. Supposedly, we can’t distinguish individual pixels with the current Retina Display. So in order to go to 720p (720 pixels wide versus the current 640), the iPhone would have to become wider or the pixels smaller. Smaller pixels would not perceptibly improve the image quality, only add to the total pixel count and reduce performance. And I don’t want a wider (or larger) iPhone. Therefore, I think my suggestion is entirely reasonable.

      2. Interesting thought. Your theory sounds great to me. I might be more willing to play Angry Birds on my iPhone again. It’d be neat to see some game designers build finger controls into the screen of the vertically held iPhone.

  2. I think iPad will go one more year with the current case and display (with upgraded internals). With iPhone, it was first gen, then different case with same display for two years, then new case and new display for two years. So, iPhone used the same display specs for the first three generations. With the competition probably mostly focusing on the low end, the same sequence makes sense for iPad.

    Also, if a new iPad is set for a March release (only about four months), the display component would be in production right now, being stockpiled by the tens of millions. iPad production would start by January. If it was significantly different from the current part, I think there would have been more detailed leaks about it already, including (those typically fuzzy) photos of the part.

    I don’t doubt that there are prototypes for the FOURTH iPad already, just as there were probably prototypes for “iPhone 5” before iPhone 4S was released. And during 2012, Apple will find a way to add a higher resolution display withOUT making iPad any thicker or heavier.

  3. Yet another false report and as usual, it is really about another Android device.

    A four inch screen is really only possible if the pixel count remains the same to allow apps to run and look good. Anything else seems ridiculous to Apple’s philosophy.

  4. Instead of responding analytically to these so-called analyst, it’s better to have a knee-jerk reaction and run them out of town.

    They are clowns who hyped the recent iPhone 5 stories and here we go again.

  5. I’m putting out there publicly now … for either ridicule later or being able to say I told you so: The next iteration of the iPad will be known as the iPad 2S, *not* iPad 3.

  6. iPad 2s Thick and Slick with no grip! ….made especially for Apple’s Break and Replace Screen Profits Promotion. This new improved model should keep their obscene profit margins growing.

    There’s always another iDiot born every second, that’ll pay more for less on the old model. But now maybe they can keep the Thickheaded iDiots Happy too!!! ;-P

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