The iPhone 5S could see an upgrade to a higher resolution Retina+ or Retina HD+ display while keeping the same 4-inch screen size, and paving the way for a larger screen iPhone 6 according to a new rumor.
If the iPhone 5S gains a higher resolution display, it is arguably the most exciting iPhone 5S feature rumor yet, as it would have a direct impact on the main thing users look at.
A new iPhone 5S rumor from the Wei Feng Network, by way of Unwired View, claims Apple is planning to double the pixel count on the iPhone 5S. The rumor also suggests the display will take up more of the front, with narrower bezels similar to the iPad mini.
The iPhone 5 display is 1136 x 640 with a pixel count of about 730,000. According to the rumor, the iPhone 5S will feature nearly 1.5 million pixels. The rumor doesn’t share the exact resolution, but if Apple picks a standard 16:9 aspect ratio resolution we could be looking at an iPhone 5S display with a 1600 x 900 resolution. This would deliver a 1.44 million pixel count.
This isn’t the first rumor of an iPhone 5S with a higher resolution Retina Display. In December 2012 Jefferies Analyst Peter Misek claimed Apple may deliver an iPhone 5S with a Retina+ resolution. Misek did not address the resolution or further details, though he did not that the Retina+ display was in an iPhone 6 prototype.
This move would mark a change in the iPhone Retina Display. Apple changed the size of the display with the iPhone 5, but did not boost the resolution in a notable manner.
By doubling the iPhone 5S resolution and sticking with the same size display, Apple could shift developers into support for a larger higher resolution display over the course of a year, and not a sudden push to an HD resolution and a bigger display which would require developers to rework apps.
During this time, apps developed for the 4-inch iPhone 5 display would continue to look good and work on an iPhone 5S display with a higher resolution and developers would have roughly a year to deliver higher resolution versions of their apps to the App store.
When the iPhone 6 arrives, Apple could then boost the display up to 4.8-inches or 5-inches and boast a plethora of apps that are ready to support the bigger display.
A 4-inch iPhone 5S would boast 458 pixels-per-inch (ppi), higher than the Samsung Galaxy S4 and the HTC One and much higher than the iPhone 5. A iPhone 6 with a 4.8-inch display would still deliver a 382 ppi rating, which would be a boost over the iPhone 5’s 325 ppi rating.
Apple remains cautious of hardware changes that could affect developers, and two of the biggest changes are screen resolution and screen size. By staggering resolution and size over the iPhone 5S and iPhone 6, Apple could ease developers into it. This could also allow Apple to offer a 4-inch and a 4.8-inch version of the iPhone 6. Some rumors claim Apple will retain a 4-inch model when a new iPhone arrives, much like the company sells an iPad and an iPad mini and the MacBook Pro Retina in multiple sizes.
The iPhone 5S release is rumored for September, while the iPhone 6 is rumored for 2014 according to multiple analysts. If Apple announces an iPhone 5S with a higher resolution it could point to truth behind the iPhone 6 rumors.