Image via Niilo Autio

Apple is testing multiple next-generation iPhones, and we have independently heard that at least one of these devices sports a brand new display.

Apple’s iPhone display went mostly unchanged from the first iteration of the iPhone to the third, but for the iPhone 4, Apple took the iPhone display to new heights with the incredible 640 x 960 Retina Display. The display has always been 3.5 inches measured diagonally and a 3:2 aspect ratio.  As we hinted yesterday, all of that is about to change…

 

Right now we know of a few next-generation iPhone candidates in testing. These prototype phones are floating around Apple HQ in thick, locked shells in order to disguise the exterior design to “undisclosed” employees. We know of two next-generation iPhones in testing with a larger display: the iPhone 5,1 and iPhone 5,2. These phones are in the PreEVT stage of development and are codenamed N41AP (5,1) and N42AP (5,2). Because Apple reserves certain models for internal-only usage (such as the N96 phone we previously reported on), we’re not sure which of the two devices will make its way into the world later this year.

Both of these phones sport a new, larger display that is 3.999 inches diagonally.  Apple will not just increase the size of the display and leave the current resolution, but will actually be adding pixels to the display. The new iPhone display resolution will be 640 x 1136.  That’s an extra 176 pixels longer of a display.  The screen will be the same 1.9632 inches wide, but will grow to 3.484 inches tall. This new resolution is very close to a 16:9 screen ratio, so this means that 16:9 videos can play full screen at their native aspect ratio.

We’ve also heard that Apple will be taking full advantage of their new pixels. Apple is currently testing builds of iOS 6 that are custom-built to the new iPhone’s display. These builds include a tweaked home screen with a fifth row of icons (besides the stationary app dock) and extended application user interfaces that offer views of more content. Apple is able to pull this off with the same sharpness as the current iPhone Retina Display because of the additional pixels.

In terms of hardware other than the new display, we’ve heard that both of these prototypes definitely include a home button and the previously-rumored smaller dock connector. Apple will be bringing these dock connectors to all of their iOS devices over time, and it is not exactly a “pill-shape” as rumored. It’s basically a much narrower version of the current squared off (on the corners) dock connector. It is between the size of a Micro-USB and Mini-USB connector.

We have a lot more coming this week, including processor specs, maps and other goodies…

(Updated the post with more decimals)