Early this year, we heard from a source that Apple had been testing multiple resolutions for the iPhone 6’s larger display, including a resolution of 960 x 1704. As we outlined, the benefit of that resolution is that it allows both developers and consumers to smoothly transition to the new display without losing high-quality imagery and graphics found in many applications from the App Store. At that density on both a 4.7-inch and 5.5-inch display (the two larger screen sizes for the next iPhone), all content would display larger in comparison to the current, 4-inch iPhone, but there would not be more actual screen real estate. Now, we’ve discovered another potential iPhone 6 screen resolution by way of iOS 8 files inside of the latest Xcode 6 Software Development Kit (SDK) betas for developers.

414 File

As you can see above, the new resolution is found inside of a file within iOS 8’s “Springboard” application. Springboard is another word for the iPhone’s Home screen (where icons are displayed when you tap the Home button). This particular file outlines for the system where icons, by default, will be placed on an iPhone’s Home screen. This particular file, which was added in Xcode 6 beta 5 earlier this month and still exists in yesterday’s Xcode 6 beta 6, is optimized for an iPhone with a resolution of 414 (width) x 736 (height). The iPhone SDK parses hardware resolutions via “point values,” so the actual “Retina” resolution is in fact double (or potentially triple) whatever numbers the SDK presents.

1136

For example, the 4-inch iPhone 5, 5s, 5c and 5th generation iPod touch display resolution is 640 x 1136, but the SDK presents it as “320 x 568.” This can be seen above on the iPhone file listing a “DefaultIconState” for an iPhone with a pixel height of 568 pixels.

Back to the new 414 x 736 file, this iPhone resolution would be slightly sharper (on the 4.7-inch model) than the current iPhone resolution and this new pixel density would actually bring more screen space to the iPhone, allowing Apple to unlock more software-based functionality for its flagship smartphone lineup. Unlike with previous iPhone resoluiton changes, moving to 414 on the width and 736 on the length would add pixels to both the height and the width of the iPhone.

Like the previously discussed 960 x 1704 resolution in testing earlier this year and the iPhone 5/5s/5c’s 640 x 1136 resolution, this new 414 x 736 resolution comes in at a 16:9 ratio. The benefits of Apple sticking to the 16:9 ratio, which seems likely based on the part leaks thus far, include an easier developer transition and consumers continuing to be able to watch widescreen video on an iPhone.

To make sense of what this other potential iPhone resolution could mean for the iPhone 6, we’ve calculated what this resolution would mean at a Retina “2X” scale on new 4-inch (just for completeness, there has been no indication that a revamped 4-inch model is coming) , 4.7-inch, and 5.5-inch screens:

@2x: 828 x 1472 on 4-inch display:

4.0 @2

@2x: 828 x 1472 on 4.7-inch display:

4.7 @2

@2x: 828 x 1472 on 5.5-inch display:

5.5 @2

As you can see, the pixel density on both the new 4.7-inch and 5.5-inch models would meet Apple’s self-imposed Retina threshold. The 4.7-inch model’s sharpness would also surpass the 326PPI density of the iPhone 5/5S/5c, and the 5.5-inch model would be above the 300PPI threshold that Apple co-founder Steve Jobs discussed upon introducing the iPhone 4’s Retina display in 2010.

The benefit of such a display, beyond the additional screen real estate, would be how many icons Apple could fit on each Home screen. The previously discussed file from the iOS 8 SDK indicates that Apple is still planning to include 20 icons per Home screen (excluding the dock), but the additional pixels on the top and the sides of the new display could open up the door for additional icons per screen. Based on calculations, Apple technically has room (at the current iOS icon sizes) to add two additional rows and one additional column.

In our report from earlier this year, we noted that Apple has also been experimenting with moving away from @2x resolutions in favor of rendering the operating system at @3x. For completeness, here are the same calculations at 1242 x 2208, which is 3x the original point values found in the SDK of 414 x 736.

@3x: 1242 x 2208 on 4-inch display:

4.0 @3

@3x: 1242 x 2208 on 4.7-inch display:

4.7 @3

@3x: 1242 x 2208 on 5.5-inch display:

5.5 @3

As you can see, these 3X pixel densities are extraordinarily high, so it seems unlikely that Apple will be able to reach those numbers while keeping the iPhone 6 thin and light (and of course with proper battery life). Of course, with the new phones already in production, Apple has decided what the resolution will be. At this point, between the two potential variations that we know of, the 828 x 1472 sounds more likely solely based on the reference appearing in the most recent builds of iOS 8, the operating system that will come pre-loaded on the new iPhones. Of course, another potential option is that the iPhone 6’s resolution is another pixel ratio not yet discussed, and whatever it may be will be announced at an event on Tuesday, September 9th. The new devices will also include new sensors and improved camera systems.

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52 Responses to “iOS 8 turns up evidence of another possible iPhone 6 resolution: a larger 828 x 1472”

  1. Chris Licata says:

    Just go to 1080p and call it good for the 6 and do 2k on the 6L. Heck even 720p on the 6C if there is such a thing would be appreciated

    Like

  2. I’m sooooooo hoping it is @ 3X rather than 2X, but that’s just me! Good article BTW!!!

    Like

    • @4x might be science fiction for the time being, but @3x is a bad idea: &@2x isn’t scalable to @3x without blurry scaling artifacts.

      I believe @2x is good enough. Just look at your screen, it’s perfectly sharp unless you hold your iPhone too close to your eye, in which case you’re probably using a badly designed app, non-scalable website or PDF doc. @3-4x will seriously cripple the graphical performance and battery life to a degree much more noticeable than the bump in resolution

      Like

  3. This is an interesting possibility. I assumed they’d be doing 3x, but with this it’s difficult to say what they’ve decided. If nothing else, maybe there will be some surprises come September 9th.

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  4. I just want to mention there is no way in HELL Apple will ever add more apps to the home screen. It is already congested. If they added more it would look laughably bad. I know Apple will not add any more rows or columns of apps to the home screen. Another reason I know this is because there aren’t 100 apps on the iPad home screen. Turns out Apple knows that there is a limit. These new iPhones will either have larger or more spread out app icons. There will NOT be more app icons.

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  5. PMZanetti says:

    9to5 sure loves to pat themselves on the back for being right about anything, ever.

    Interested in whether or not they will eat crow when the world finds out there never was a 5.5″ iPhone…or if they will pretend like that was never mentioned. If they will pretend it was never mentioned even after a total lack of any evidence presented itself.

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    • chrisl84 says:

      If a 5.5 doesnt go on sale this year 9to5 will just claim a “source close to the project” (who doesnt exist) told them it got pulled last minute as an executive decision by Tim Cook.

      Like

    • John Smith says:

      Actually it looks highly likely that there will be an Iphone 5.5″. The reason is that recently the National communications regulator of Thailand announced that there will be 2 models of the Iphone 6. Apple then complained but they did not complain about the product existing. They complained that Thailand communications regulator leaked the info. The regulator replied that they complied with state law and that Apple had not informed them the names were to be kept secret only the details. Apple then replied that the 2 models may not be called Iphone 6.
      This is proof from the horses mouth that there will be 2 models.
      How will Apple differentiate the 2 models? They are not likely to do another ‘budget ‘ model such as the Iphone 5c which was perceived to have bad sales figures(rightly or wrongly).
      one good way to set them apart is by screen size. That way they can set the 5.5″ as the flagship model. the 4.7″ could be the norm and the 4″ Iphone 5s could be the cheaper option for those who also want 4″.
      they can then retire the Iphone 4s and Iphone 5c and not cause too much fuss about their retirement.
      just because there are not masses of parts leaks does not mean it does not exist.
      a lot of leaks come from or approved by apple to keep the hype machine in full flow.

      Like

      • jpatel330 says:

        ever think the 2 new models reported by Thailand can be iPhone 6 4” and iPhone 6 4.7”. I have yet to see a credible source for an iPhone 6 5.5” leak of any parts. All the leaked parts suggest it is the 4.7” model. Either Apple has done a tremendous job keeping the 5.5” model under lock and key (even during production) or it is not coming at all. I think the latter looks more likely as the launch date gets closer.

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      • No one that wants a 4″, 4.7″, or 5.5″ wants to be locked into old specs. Why oh why are people stupid enough to say ‘they will keep the 5S for people that want the 4″‘ GOD NO. They will obviously keep the 5S for a cheaper option, but if there is no 4″ iPhone 6, it’s simply because they aren’t interested in selling a product to people that want a 4″ phone anymore; not because they have the 5S already, for those people.

        NO ONE WANTS OLD SPECS/FEATURES. Hence why the newest iPhone always outsells the older cheaper iPhone. Yes, some people that don’t care choose the older version because it’s cheaper, but the VAST majority do care, and they want the latest device.

        Think of it this way: how ungodly stupid would it be if Apple decided the. 4″ was the best and they’d release the iPhone 6 4″ all new specs/features, but also release a 4.7″ and 5.5″ iPhone 5S. Hmm see where this doesn’t make any sense at all?

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      • borntofeel says:

        What do they care if the 5C was perceived that way. It’s the 5th best selling phone in the world and still best selling in the UK this month! They don’t care. Of course there will be a 6C.

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      • godofbiscuits says:

        @o0smoothies0o : “Hmm see where this doesn’t make any sense at all?

        Wrong. There are plenty of people who like the 4″ screen just fine, and if Apple no longer offers a 4″ iPhone with updated specs, then those people will be “settling” by going for the smallest screen they can that has the up-to-date specs.

        Screen size is not an “old spec”. It’s an existing design, and one that works, clearly, for a lot of people.

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      • @godofbiscuits you misunderstood my entire comment I guess. I was saying no one that wants a 4″ screen wants to be forced into the old specs/features of the 5S as opposed to the new specs/features of the iPhone 6. Those that want a 4″ want the new features too.

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      • PMZanetti says:

        Actually not. The two models refer to the iPhone 6 and the new revised 5c/5s replacement at the lower price tier.

        Like

      • @pmz they wouldn’t make a 4.7″ only. There will either be a new 4″ and 4.7″ or new 4.7″ and 5.5″ or new all three. Granted we haven’t seen any for 4″ so that’s unlikely, but there has been 5.5″ leaks, namely the display, which was a purported iPhone 6 display.

        Like

    • latinoboyboy says:

      Well I guess you got a huge surprise on that keynote day…. Lol

      Like

  6. Id be very disappointed if Apple didn’t increase pixel density to allow retina viewing at 8″ on the 4.7″ at least. Sorry but with iOS 7 and the thinning of fonts and UI, a human with good eyesight can easily see pixels/gagged lines from normal viewing distance. It is time to increase it. I don’t care about the resolution, but the PPI needs to increase.

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  7. Tiago Freire says:

    You could make an article of the next resolution target: Vernier acuity. Vernier Acuity is the ability of recognizing misalignment of two straight line segments.

    Even on retina displays, when 3D graphics have edges almost aligned to the pixel grid, the eye can still perceive stair-stepping, even with antialias techniques.

    It would take much more resolution to beat vernier acuity (I read somewhere that 1800dpi or more).

    Like

  8. Apples very good in being worth having equipment

    Like

  9. zubeirg87 says:

    How about going 2x on the 4.7″, thus 828×1472.. And 3x on the 5.5″, thus 1242 x 2208. Third party apps will fit perfectly on both phones, since these will be made at 414×736.

    Like

  10. Dear goodness, this would be the first iPhone I didn’t buy if they fell this far behind the competition with the display. The current display is already laughable with the resolution it offers. Get over yourself Apple and just give us an industry standard 1080P and call it a day. If other vendors can product 1080P phones with great battery life (battery life that is even better than the current small screened iPhone) then why can’t you?

    Like

    • godofbiscuits says:

      Why are you assuming “can’t”?

      The iPhone has always been designed as a piece of hardware that’s optimized for one-handed use. Clearly the others *can’t* figure out a way to make bigger screens that are still one-hand-usable.

      Maybe Apple has, at least with a 4.7″ screen. I take usability over size any day. In more than one domain. :)

      Like

      • herb02135go says:

        God of Biscuits:
        Clearly you are off the mark. My new Galaxy s5 has custom one-handed operation.

        I go to a setting, swipe my thumb across the display and it’s set.
        This way, I can use my apps with one hand PERFECTLY!

        Give it a try. I love the screen size and great battery life. Being able to use it with one hand adds to the pleasure.

        Like

    • zubeirg87 says:

      You still believe they don’t go 1080p because they can’t?! Keep in mind they actually went straight to the big retina ipad resolution on the ipad mini 2 just for app compatibility. That is even though 326ppi on a tablet was far from necessary for retina branding. So it is clearly just for app compatibility purposes that they prefer these resolutions over 720p/1080p like the rest of the industry. Those are just to make hot spec sheets. Besides why do people still not understand that their eyes won’t make out the difference anyway with >300ppi. Those are just wasted resources.

      Like

      • NO THEY ARENT. It’s absolutely scientific fact that humans CAN see a difference, I can, why can’t you? Oh that’s right, you need to put glasses on. Did you even read this article? See where it says ‘becomes retina at or over?!?!?! Yeah that’s the viewing distance necessary for retina, and it’s 11″ on iPhone 5S which by the way people hold it closer than that at times. Hence it isn’t good enough.

        Like

      • zubeirg87 says:

        It seems you’ve read just the last part of what I wrote. I was meaning that 720p/1080p are not the priority. App compatibility actually are. Hence the awkward resolutions apple chooses, like 1136×640, 1704×960, or 828×1472.
        Now what u were saying about retina and viewing distance, I’m sure you’ve read the article saying that MOST humans would not distinguish the difference above 300ppi at the average viewing distace. You should take a ruler and see what 11″ viewing distance really is. I found it to be more than enough close. To my observation most people actually use their phone at about that distance or above. I think if you need to look at a phone less than 10″ away I would say you are the one who needs glasses.

        Like

      • Embarrassing is the only word I’ll leave you with, your comments regarding retina are embarrassing.

        Like

  11. slowawake says:

    Who are all these 1080p trolls?

    Like

  12. I agree that the new resolutions will be 1472 x 828 for the 4.7inch model and 2,208 x 1,242 for the 5.5inch model, resulting in 359 and 460PPI respectively.
    Seems likely because:
    1) They are an improvement over all iPhones since iPhone 4 in terms of PPI.
    2) Not an industry standard resolution like 720p, 1080p and 1440p resolutions.
    3) The evidence within Xcode 6 Beta 6.
    4) Apple would have a reason to upwell you to the larger model, because of the higher PPI, despite not being able to see the difference in PPIs, not to mention it will have a higher PPI than the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 for example, but not for the rumoured 1440p resolution on the Note 4 which will be 515PPI.
    5) The rumoured slightly more powerful A8 processor for the 5.5inch model would be necessary to drive all of those extra pixels. Just like they have with the iPads.
    So in short, I believe these new resolutions up until Apple confirms them and I would personally still not buy a larger screened device until I have played with both of them extensively. And Apple will extensively sell you in the event that you would not be able to tell the higher PPI on a device above 300 to backup their mathematical equations from 2010.

    Like

    • Also I believe it is important to compare the screen resolutions to the battery size (mAh) and not so much the screen size, because if you look back to the old Nokia days with a lower resolution, despite not having stuff like GPS, Wi-Fi, Apps etc., they lasted almost a week on a single charge.

      Like

      • I6 also coming with same style’s screen. Home bottom should be in below volume or it’s opposite so that that part can be larger for display..Similarly camera and hearing option can set horizontally to make some free space there too for display….

        Like

  13. scottwilkins says:

    I’m disliking 16×9 more and more these days. I do wish 16×10 displays would become more common in computing devices. 16×9 is perfect for TVs, but for computing you just need more room.

    Like

  14. threeifbyair says:

    tl;dr: this is the resolution of the new iPad mini, not an iPhone.

    I think there’s an obvious solution everyone’s missing here.

    Remember that the real cost in making LCD panels is in making an LCD machine that will spit out panels at a particular pixel density. The size of the panel isn’t too big a deal, but a new density means a new machine, which means $$$. That’s why the original iPad mini was easy to produce, because its pixel density was equal to that of the original iPhones (2G/3G/3GS) — and that’s why we were able to predict that it would be 7.85″. And the iPad mini came out just as production was ramping down on the last non-Retina iPhones, so they had spare LCD machines sitting around ready to be repurposed.

    Fast-forward to today. The iPhone 5/5c/5s has a 326ppi screen, and production is being ramped down in favor of the iPhone 6/6L. What can we do with those leftover LCD machines? Well, I wonder what pixel density we get if we put 1242×2208 on a 7.75″ display? Oh look, it’s 326ppi.

    They’re doing it again. They’re repurposing old iPhone LCD panels to make the iPad mini.

    Of course, the new news here is that they’re building a 16:9 iPad mini instead of the traditional 4:3.

    Like

    • zubeirg87 says:

      I don’t see why, for the sake of repurposing 326ppi panels, they would make a 7.75″ 326ppi ipad mini. The actual retina ipad mini is already 326ppi. So there is no reason for repurposing these panels since they are already in use. Besides making a 16:9 ipad is just gonna create hassle for developpers who are gonna have to make different resolution apps.

      Like

  15. if it’s like the first picture,It is the ugliest phone in the planet

    Like

  16. Jack Gnasty says:

    All this info on pixels and dimensions is great, but where is the next step of analysis? PPI is half of the story. The entire UI design of apps and iOS is based around the screen resolution and touch points. Resolution needs to translate into user experience. Changing the PPI and altering the apparent size of icons on screen can have drastic ramifications. Gruber had a great write-up on this subject. I’ll be waiting and seeing with everyone else, but I don’t expect any resolution that will change the appearance from one device to another.

    Like

  17. Kevin Boyle says:

    I don’t care about screen size I care about Memory!!!! 128GB FOR THE LOVE OF GOD!!

    Like

  18. Can’t they just shoehorn a cellular radio into a PowerBook 170? With modern battery tech and miniaturization that could run for about 95 years on a 9500mAh battery, which is what you could cram into the 170’s case once the electronics were in place. They would after all fit on a board even smaller than an iPhone’s board.

    A1-bit active matrix screen and System 7 with MacTCP and the all new MacPhone software will complete the package.

    Of course, MacPhone is available on floppy diskette so you can install it on your Quadra 840av or Color Classic.

    Like

  19. So,

    This looks like an APPLE TV remote to me.

    Like