Apple Gearing Up To Screw iOS Developers With A 3.95-Inch Widescreen iPhone 5 [Rumor]

Apple Gearing Up To Screw iOS Developers With A 3.95-Inch Widescreen iPhone 5 [Rumor]

This is what a widescreen iPhone (left) may look like alongside its predecessor.

With Apple’s sixth-generation iPhone set to make its debut this year, there’s no doubt the company has a number of prototype devices — all with different designs and specifications — in testing within its Cupertino headquarters. One of those handsets is said to feature a 3.95-inch widescreen display with a 640 x 1136 resolution that’s taller than all the existing 3.5-inch iPhone displays we’ve seen to date.

According to 9to5Mac, Apple could be gearing up to break away from the 3.5-inch, 640 x 960 displays used in its iPhone 4 and iPhone 4S in favor of an additional 0.45 inches. It also has a larger handset “floating around Apple HQ in thick, locked shells in order to disguise the exterior design to ‘undisclosed’ employees.”

We know of two next-generation iPhones in testing with a larger display: the iPhone 5,1 and iPhone 5,2. These phones are in the PreEVT stage of development and are codenamed N41AP (5,1) and N42AP (5,2). [...]

Both of these phones sport a new, larger display that is 3.95 inches diagonally.  Apple will not just increase the size of the display and leave the current resolution, but will actually be adding pixels to the display. The new iPhone display resolution will be 640 x 1136.  That’s an extra 176 pixels longer of a display.  The screen will be the same 1.94 inches wide, but will grow to 3.45 inches tall. This new resolution is very close to a 16:9 screen ratio, so this means that 16:9 videos can play full screen at their native aspect ratio.

To take advantage of those extra pixels, Apple is also said to be testing a “new build of iOS 6’ that are written specifically for the new display. Apparently, these builds include a fifth row of home screen icons — as opposed to just four — and “extended application user interfaces that offer views of more content.”

Because of the additional pixels, Apple can make the iPhone’s display larger without losing that super sharp Retina display. The handset is also said to feature a smaller dock connector that is “between the size of a Micro-USB and Mini-USB connector.”

Of course, if Apple does change the iPhone’s aspect rather — rather than just “pixel-doubling” its display — it will mean that iOS developers must tweak their apps to take advantage of that larger display. That may not be a big issue for apps like Twitter or Facebook, which can simply be “extended.” But for games and more complex UIs, it’s going to mean a lot of work.

One iOS developer recently told GigaOM that “changing the aspect ratio would be a lot of work for development teams. We found that maybe 50 percent of iOS development is [spent] in layout.”

Whether or not Apple actually turns its larger prototype into a reality remains to be seen, but many believe that changing the handsets aspect ratio makes no sense, and is therefore an unlikely move.

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  • Nick Cotter

    Seriously for most apps that aren’t games they will be automatically upgraded apple loves there developers why would they screw us over?

  • Gil Megidish

    This just has to be the worst Aprils-fools joke.

  • holotropik

    I highly doubt Apple would follow the stupid trend for ridiculous oversized sized phones. I hope not anyway…

  • Bernd Bohnenkämper

    I just hope that Apple doesn’t change the dock connector! Think about all the accessories that work with the current connector like Sound stations, In car systems, TomTom car holder and many more. I think many people will be very unhappy with the new dock, including me. It could easily double the cost of the iPhone when you have to buy all your accessories again with a new dock connector.

  • Soheil Alavi

    So Cult of Mac is from Toronto then ;)

  • Freek Monsuur

    The extra space might not become available to developers.

    What if Apple decides to use it for iOS system only, like a new touchscreen home button, the multitasking bar and fullscreen video?

    Also, existing apps will be running perfectly on a larger screen, they would just not use the extra space from the start.

  • silentwill

    I say just leave the current screen size alone. Suits my hand just fine.

  • Tim Lanfair

    I’m pretty sure apple will not screw things up with developers. Apple loves its development community and is always trying to make things easier for developers, not harder. in IOS 6 if, and this is a big if the screen size does change, you can bet that apple will make it easy for developers to adapt current applications as well as new applications……

  • sasoon1
  • Dalsten Deilus

    Big deal! Update the app. If it’s your money maker then why not continue moving forward? 

  • Chris Hunter

    Big deal! Update the app. If it’s your money maker then why not continue moving forward? 

    No kidding. I mean some Devs have both an iPad and an iPhone version so modify the iPhone app to support both sizes.

  • Chris Hunter

    Personally as an Android convert I’m glad the iPhone is finally getting a larger screen. I really like my 4S and the only two complaints I’ve ever had for it are probably the same as everybody else. Larger screen and something faster than 3G. Of course I gave up a 4.3″ screen and 4G to have the 4S so I knew what I was getting into in the first place.

    There are a lot of iPhone users that are opposed to the 4″ screen and I do understand, however use a 4″ for a few days and I guarantee you will want one. Of course if the phone you use for a few days is junk than your experience will vary. LOL

  • ddevito

    Ha Ha…welcome to Android land.  :p

  • ddevito

    I highly doubt Apple would follow the stupid trend for ridiculous oversized sized phones. I hope not anyway…

    Looks like they will

  • ApplePr0n

    I dont know. That just looks too long and fugly. Would Apple really do that?

  • PeggyMae

    I’m pretty sure apple will not screw things up with developers. Apple loves its development community and is always trying to make things easier for developers, not harder. in IOS 6 if, and this is a big if the screen size does change, you can bet that apple will make it easy for developers to adapt current applications as well as new applications……

    I would agree with you if Apple didn’t have a long history of screwing developers over hard on a consistent basis.

  • jpaul

    Nice overview…

    One typo, nitpick

    “Of course, if Apple does change the iPhone’s aspect rather —”

    “ratio” instead of “rather”

  • mr_bee

    It also means they are leaving behind the main argument for smaller screens which is the ability to reach the whole screen with the thumb of one hand.  

    If they are going to throw that out, why not 5, 6, or 7″ screens with a variety of aspect ratios?  
  • mr_bee

    …  What if Apple decides to use it for … a new touchscreen home button…

    Wow, I really hope they don’t do this.  Those capacitive buttons are horrible.  

    Probably the worst part of the Android experience IMO.  
  • ApplePr0n

    @mr_bee. Because they want to keep the Retina Display for one. Plus, that’s like saying we aren’t winning the NBA championship, so let’s not try to win a game…

  • monstermasten

    By doing my idea they would be able to keep the aspect ratio..

About the author

Killian BellKillian Bell is a staff writer based in the U.K. He has an interest in all things tech and also covers Android over at CultofAndroid.com. You can follow him on Twitter via @killianbell.

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