Apple iPhone 5 Display To Be Bigger Than Current iPhone: Rumors

The Apple iPhone 5 could play host to a 4.6-inch retina display, according to new reports.

The iPhone 5 will have a 4.6-inch retina display, according to new rumors. That would make the next iPhone's display over an inch larger than the current iPhone 4S's 3.5-inch screen. Photo: Teufelabgott/Flickr

When it comes to Apple releases, company’s fans don’t seem satisfied for very long before they start dishing out the next batch of rumors about the bigger and better upcoming iDevice.

The new Apple iPad is just out the door but it hasn’t stopped, however, the iPhone 5 rumors from coming in stronger than ever. So, what news is swirling around the rumor mill this time?

According to the Reuters, Apple Inc’s new iPhone will have a sharper and bigger 4.6-inch “retina” display and is set to be launched around the second quarter, a South Korean media reported on Thursday.

Sales of the iPhone, first introduced in 2007 with the touch screen template now adopted by its rivals, account for around half Apple’s total sales.

Apple has decided on the bigger 4.6-inch display for its next iPhone and started placing orders to its suppliers, the Maeil Business Newspaper said, quoting an unnamed industry source.

Its major display suppliers LG Display and Samsung Electronics Co declined to comment. Samsung, which is also the biggest challenger to Apple in smartphones, uses 4.6-inch OLED display for its flagship Galaxy S II smartphone, introduced in April last year.

The high-definition “retina” display–containing several times as many pixels within the same area– is used in the latest iPad released earlier this month. The latest iPhone 4S was introduced in October last year.

The company has to be careful when it comes to increasing screen size, because it won’t want to leave its wealth of existing apps looking rubbish on a new screen.

Any apps designed for the iPhone 4S’ 960×640-pixel 3.5-inch display would look somewhat shaky on a 4.6-inch screen. That might not stick Apple’s hand though — developers would just have to upgrade their apps to take advantage of the new pixels.

There was a rocky transitional phase when the iPhone 4 was released, during which most iPhone apps looked horrible on the new device. Now that the new iPad is out, I’ve noticed that many icons and graphics that looked fine on the iPad 2 are suddenly appearing very blocky.

If the next iPhone did have a 4.6-inch display, it’s likely it would have a similar resolution to the 4.65-inch Galaxy Nexus, which packs 720×1,280 pixels for a pixels-per-inch count of about 319 — slightly less than the iPhone 4S’ 330 ppi.

Pixel densities aside, it’s possible Apple won’t meddle with the iPhone’s screen size simply because it believes the 3.5-inch display is the perfect size already, and doesn’t care what other companies are doing (though the 4S does look tiddly now compared to the raft of enormo-phones released recently). Apple has the larger screen territory covered with the iPad and it won’t want to put people off buying both.

Incidentally, it’s also likely that the new iPhone will simply be called the new iPhone — Apple’s peculiar naming direction for its latest iPad signals that it’s moving away from the 3, 3G and 4S suffixes.

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