Why Apple’s 4.7- and 5.5-inch iPhones will both be this resolution

“I thought I’d break out into a new post exactly what size(s) I’m expecting in the iPhone 6 4.7″ and 5.5″ phones (assuming the rumors are real),” Lou Miranda blogs. “I’m thinking Apple will make both phones at 1920×1080. Then they will be able to contain letter-boxed 1.5x-sized existing apps (fitting inside a 1704×960 rectangle). Each phone will have 1.5x-sized tap targets (66 points tall instead of 44 points tall) but will still have an extra 10% or so extra space vertically (1920 vs 1704) and horizontally (1080 vs 960), so there’s a little more room for app content.”

“By having the same resolution, things will be in the exact same relative position on the two devices; one will simply be larger (like the difference between a 42” and a 55” HDTV or the difference between the iPad Air and iPad mini),” Miranda writes. “The benefit to developers/UX/enterprises: Only one new pixel dimension to target (much as the iPad and iPad mini have the same pixel dimensions). Retina + 1.5x graphics that should work seamlessly (a new image naming convention of @3x?). Screens that only offer 10% or so extra space within apps mean that developers don’t have to spend a lot of time updating app content. And Auto Layout means that they probably don’t have to do anything other than recompile for them to work on the new iPhones.”

Much more in the full article – recommended – here.

MacDailyNews Note: If 1920×1080 sounds familiar, that’s because 1080p, with a widescreen aspect ratio of 16:9, carries a resolution of 1920×1080 (2.1 megapixel).


  1. While all this speculation is nice and the fanboy inside of me would love to be true, the fact of the matter is Apple has never used an industry standard resolution in their iPhones… and however much this sucks for users (some not all) I don’t expect them to change this. Again, I wish they would but I don’t see it happening.

  2. About freaking time that Apple stepped up to an industry standard resolution!

    Sorry, but the iPhone really does lag a lot of the competition — the Motorola Moto G comes immediately to mind. Numbers do matter.

    1. Sorry, Paul, but resolution on a mobile device beyond the ability of the human eye’s capability to distinguish the pixels more resolution is just an exercise in advertising masturbation for spec whores that requires more memory, processing power, and energy (read battery life) that is a totally unnecessary waste for user experience. The iPad for example already displays at a greater resolution than a 55 inch HD TV and has more pixels. . . yet there are phone and tablet makers claiming 4K resolution phones! Absurd! A user would need a humongous magnifying glass if not a fifteen power loupe to begin to see the pixels on those screens. . . and the waste of processing power required to manipulate moving images on such a screen is even more absurd. There is such a thing as “appropriate technology” that Apple engineers understand.

      1. Nobody here is talking about 4K on a phone. Those of us with an interest in high quality phones are saying that 1920×1080 is one of the most common sizes for both consumer media and displays. That alone makes it a better choice for resolution than the goofball numbers that Apple has chosen in the past.

        YOU might not notice a difference, but on a 5.5″ display held within normal phone viewing distance, 1080p resolution can be recognized by people with good eyesight.

        Moreover, if Apple was to adopt an industry standard pixel count, it eliminates a lot of GPU processing that would otherwise have to reformat media. It may also lead to lower cost displays due to economies of scale.

        What makes you think Apple doesn’t need to step up to what the rest of the display & media world is doing?

        1. No, Paul, no one can discern 1980p pixel count on a 5.5″ phone. . . Even with excellent eyesight. I am an extreme myopic with excellent up close focussing and I cannot discern such pixels at the 2.5″ focal length my minus ten diopter eyes focus at. As I told you, there is NO justification for a phone to have such resolution beyond the human eye to resolve. I have four optometrists among my clients and I polled every one of them about this issue once before and every single one of them stated that it is impossible for anyone to see any difference. Your claim is wishful thinking or advertising hype.

          Why you think that somehow standardizing on an industry “standard” would save having to reformat media is absurd. The media comes compressed. One time decompression to whatever fits the device screen algorithm is all that’s required on each device. It is designing games and apps for the plethora of screen sizes in the Android ecosystem that’s the problem, not in Apple’s ecosystem.

          Apple, as I told you uses “appropriate technology,” not hyped specs to impress the ignorati. They use what works.

    2. I do not think so. Ten competition throws pasta on the wall to see what sells.
      Apple cooks the best pasta for your plate. They are very focused on what works not what looks good in hype.
      Just saying.

  3. I strongly doubt Apple’s primary concern with pixel dimensions is developer disruption. The iOS frameworks have long been evolving better and better independence from any given screen size or pixel density or dimension. Each WWDC sees several sessions on what’s new in the auto layout engine.

  4. On a processor that uses binary math, increasing resolution by 1.5 is a lot more calculation intensive than doubling. Most apps would not only look ugly window boxed, they would run slower on a new phone than on an old one. That doesn’t seem like an elegant Apple solution.

  5. Will the new iPhone being released this year she newer and better than the one currently on my desk? Maybe

    Will it have new advanced features? Maybe

    will it bring me a pony on Christmas Day? Yes, yes indeed.

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