Let me first start by saying I don’t think Apple would do a 16:9 device with 640 being concretely stuck a the “9”. 16:10, like most of the MacBooks, makes much more sense, and would be a nice even 1024×640 (isn’t that the Kindle fire 7 resolution?). However, there might be a more practical reason for 1136. UIToolBars, the most commonly used control, are 88 physical pixels on retina iPhones. 960+2×88=1136. An iPhone which was 1136 physical pixels tall would have room to run all current apps as is, with room for a UIToolBar above AND below (which also makes updating apps that have a UINavBar on top and a UIToolBar on the bottom such as Safari trivial to redesign). 44 logical pixels btw is the often-cited-as-of-late Apple UI guideline for touch targets.
Two points remain though.
- With either resolution, putting this in landscape will be stupid
- My hands are already too small to operate the current phone one-handed in portrait for anything other than poorly texting. Rather than a handicap I consider this a good way to test for women users, who don’t want a bigger iPhone
When the rumors were fresh, we all did the math and figured out if Apple squashed the home button and moved the speaker and camera up a bit there would be room for a new resolution without increasing the size of the device. They could also just black out the new regions when not being used and if the IPS panel was good enough you would think you’re using an iPhone 4 (we all know a black but on LCD looks like a black but on LCD).
The marketing on this thing is going to be really stupid too. “Taller, 16:9, but only 79% of the true HD 720p Nexus. Go buy that for watching movies”. No I’m not saying 720p is a good resolution for a phone. I’m just saying if you make a 16:9 device, it’s probably so videos “look better”, but they won’t because they’ll still be scaled no matter what. Let’s review the common 16:9 resolutions of web content:
- 1920 x 1080
- 1280 x 720
- 854 x 480
- 640 x 360
I have a better idea. If they’re going to make an iPad out of iPhone panels for the sake of making a smaller iPad, why not make an iPhone out of iPad panels? A slightly bigger device that is otherwise identical except being a little easier to read. I’m reminded once again of the iBook G4, available in 12″ and 14″ but both packing 1024×768 pixels.
Maybe a larger form factor gives them more battery and more room to support LTE. Honestly, I don’t care. AT&T LTE is virtually non-existant and Verizon LTE is still a list of metropolitan areas. It’s still a marketing pissing contest. I don’t need a 25mb downstream in areas that WiFi is likely to also exist. Cover the Appalachian Trail with LTE if you want to impress me. But in cities where WiFi signals compete with each other, we don’t need LTE yet. Uniform 1mbs nationwide would be much more impressive. My vacation drive up interstate 81 still had legit deadzones this year.
I guess it’s a round about way of saying it, but a taller iPhone doesn’t look cool. Shrinking it down to the thickness of a 4th generation iPod Touch would be cool.