There have been many reports today of an iPhone doing 1080P video. Engadget even tested the claims (below) by playing a 1080P movie on the iPhone 3GS’s 480×320 screen. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t.
Getting the video to work on an external screen might be impossible however, since the processor in the iPhone, the Samsung S5PC100, simply doesn’t do 1080P. It maxes out at 720P (see graphic below). On the other hand, the iPhone has a PowerVR GPU which may supply it with enough additional horsepower to play those movies on real 1080P screens. This is also interesting because that means that, to create the video above, Apple is using the GPU to offload some of the video rendering – just like they are also doing on newer Mac desktops.
For now, all we know is that the iPhone is probably capable of downsampling 1080P movies into 480×320. We’re looking forward to seeing some video out to full 1080P at some point in the future.