Sizing up the iPhone 5: The screen

Apple is obsessed with display technology. And rightfully so. Consumers are too.

The back of the iPhone 5's new chassis that holds the taller screen, according to 9to5Mac.
The back of the iPhone 5's new chassis that holds the taller screen, according to 9to5Mac. 9to5Mac

All signs point to a taller screen for the iPhone 5. For many, that alone will redefine Apple's iconic phone.

Probably more than any other single hardware feature, Retina screens are what consumers of the iPhone and iPad are focusing on these days -- not to mention Apple marketing folks.

And Apple won't disappoint with the iPhone 5. 9to5Mac says the taller screen will boast a resolution of 640-by-1,136. (iPhone 4 and 4S are 640-by-960.)

Those tweaks will yield a resolution "very close to a 16:9 screen ratio, so this means 16:9 videos can play full screen at their native aspect ratio," the Apple enthusiast site said.

A build of iOS 6 for the new iPhone's display may have a home screen with a fifth row of icons and an interface that offers views of more content.

(And see a mockup of the iPhone 5's screen from OverDrive Design.)

That will be more than enough to send millions to Apple stores or online to buy the phone in the first month of sales.

That would probably include me, too. I've always thought that relative to the phone's size, too much real estate on the front of the iPhone 4/4S is devoted to nondisplay, nonfunctional space compared with other top-tier phones.

And I think Steve Jobs did too. He was very involved in the design of the iPhone 5, financial analyst Ashok Kumar told CNET last year. It "was the last project that Steve Jobs was intimately involved with from concept to final design. For that reason...this product will establish the high-water mark for iPhone volumes," Kumar said in October.

Of course, most people will waltz into an Apple store and see the new design with the larger screen and immediately part with their cash, oblivious to Jobs' input. But I think Jobs would be OK with that.

About the author

Brooke Crothers writes about mobile computer systems, including laptops, tablets, smartphones: how they define the computing experience and the hardware that makes them tick. He has served as an editor at large at CNET News and a contributing reporter to The New York Times' Bits and Technology sections. His interest in things small began when living in Tokyo in a very small apartment for a very long time.


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