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Detailed 4th Generation iPhone Specs Leak

Gordon Kelly


Detailed 4th Generation iPhone Specs Leak

It has been found/stolen, dated and torn apart. So there seems little left to surprise us about the impending fourth generation iPhone other than its specifications - which we now have...

Digitimes claims "sources from Taiwan-based component makers" - a phrase we wouldn't usually associate with fact before Apple's security implosion - have the hard details and the biggest change looks set to be the screen.

Most interesting is the new model will indeed have the much rumoured super high 960 x 640 native resolution display. This will be on an IPS ('In-plane Switching') panel with FFS ('Fringe Field Switching') technology which between them bring wider viewing angles and more visibility under direct sun light. HTC has already used FFS in its Android handsets and Apple is likely keen on it to improve the iBook reading experience.

On top of this the new panel will allegedly be 33 per cent thinner than previous iPhone screens to permit a larger battery module (supplied by Simplo Technology and Dynapack International Technology) though it does make you wonder if it can remain as tough as the last three generations.

Horsepower? Like the iPhone 3GS, an ARM Cortex A8 processor will be the beating heart of the handset though whether this is rebadged under the 'A4' branding seen in the iPad remains to be seen. In the 3GS the A8 is clocked at 600MHz, but here it is expected to be higher and would an iPad equalling 1GHz be out the question with the 1.3GHz Mondrian knocking about? Finally memory is being doubled to 512MB over the 256MB in the 3GS.

Combine all this with the front facing camera, improved rear camera (believed to be five megapixels) with flash, slimmer form factor, most likely enlarged capacities (64GB must be nailed on, surely?) and the goodness of iPhone OS 4.0 and Apple may have a winner. Given Digitimes claims iPhone builder Foxconn is planning to ship 24 million units during 2010 clearly Apple believes this too...

Link: Digitimes


May 19, 2010, 10:49 am

But still only a mono speaker, all that tech and to put a mono speaker in the phone is a joke.

the 2nd problem i have which i hope is fixed in version 4 is the alerts for TXT and email meassages i hope they let you pick what you want instead of the few rubbish built in ones.

also read teh screen is smaller than the 3gs which i hope is not the case i would of thought a slightly bigger would be better

we will all see soon


May 19, 2010, 11:24 am

As my iPhone 3G o2 contract is up for renewal I will be first inline to get one. However, is there a date when its expected be be released? I know nothing can be certain but is there an anticipated announcement and resale date?

Geoff Richards

May 19, 2010, 11:47 am

Interesting. I smell a show-down between Apple IPS vs Samsung OLED for the crown of "best phone display". :)

There are also rumours floating around the interwebs that iPad 2nd gen will sport an OLED display. While there's one hell of a leap from 4 inches to 10 inches to make that happen, I wonder if Cupertino's persistence with IPS for iPhone 4th gen nixes this rumour...

Wait and see I guess. It's all in the pursuit of lower power (longer battery life), lighter and thinner.


May 19, 2010, 12:00 pm

it almost seems a pity my first iphone was the 3gs, when there wasn't such a big jump in main specs over the previous ones (genuinely like the idea of a high res screen that's readable in the sunlight)

somehow, i don't expect this to be cheap...


May 19, 2010, 12:18 pm

960 x 640 ? But that's still not H-enough-D. C'mon Apple, get a move on.


May 19, 2010, 1:25 pm

Glad to see Apple hasn't bent to all the OLED lobbyists and has stuck with a high-quality LCD display. All told, it's shaping up to be a stonking handset. I just hope the price is, well, within reach.

@Meridius: Some of the complaints people level at the iPhone really do baffle me. The mono speaker is perfectly adequate for normal use and is what most phones have. I guess the TXT tone is a silly omission but is it really that big of a deal? The screen is supposed to be a millimetre or two narrower in accordance with its changed aspect ratio, which is an amount I'm sure you won't even notice. As for making it bigger, I know few people that would agree and, in fact, they want it smaller.

@GoldenGuy: Irony?


May 19, 2010, 1:32 pm

I'm torn on the screen. All the spec's seem superb, however I can't believe that they are making it smaller than the the 3gs. Surely it should get slightly bigger if anything !

Really useful everyday improvements over the 3g I have would be louder ringing and better vibration. When walking about outside I rarely hear it (or feel it) ring.

I'm pretty much certain to get this, regardless of price. However I'm still disappointed that the screen is getting smaller.

Niraj Goyal

May 19, 2010, 1:39 pm

Wow, some people will never be pleased! This is shaping up to be quite a device. The competition between Apple and Android based handsets is fascinating and great for consumers. Especially if both Google and Apple continue to offer OS upgrades with new features and stability.

Shame Apple as a corporate company is less appealing and becoming more "the man" every day. (I think I have watched School of Rock too many times!).

Russell Peto

May 19, 2010, 1:55 pm

@Meridius: I'm glad it's only a mono speaker; use headphones for better sound quality on the move. The only real life effect of beefier speakers on mobile devices is to annoy other people on public transport.


May 19, 2010, 2:00 pm

I'm not convinced that doubling the screen resolution from 160ppi to 320ppi is really necessary. No doubt it'll look amazing but can't say I've ever thought to myself that 160ppi was insufficient. And any games wanting to run at this higher resolution will be doing 4 times as much pixel pushing, so I imagine a lot of them will just use pixel doubling.


May 19, 2010, 2:06 pm

If they are changing the screen size, why not go all the way and have a 3" and 4" version. Like the Sony X10 and X10 mini, or HTC HD2 and HD2 mini.

They've finally stuck a decent camera in this, they've got a great OS, the best app store, a great music player - there's little that can be levied against the iPhone now when comparing it to other phones so it'd be nice if Apple could stop deciding for us what the best form factor is and give us some choice.

That said they've made a good screen even better so i'm not too bothered about them making it a fraction smaller, just be nice as I said to have a choice.

As for the speaker, keep it mono, the fewer kids using their phones as ghetto-blasters the better.

Jon Williamson

May 19, 2010, 2:09 pm

Better Reception. That's all it needs. Make it work as a Goddam phone! In the last couple of months my 3GS on Orange has become unusable as a phone at home ...


May 19, 2010, 3:01 pm

@Ed - "The screen is supposed to be a millimetre or two narrower in accordance with its changed aspect ratio" - but the aspect ratio hasn't changed - the current iPhone screens (in landscape) are 480 x 320, i.e. 1.5:1; the new one is 960 x 640 - also 1.5:1. If they did anything else it would screw up a lot of existing apps that rely on the aspect ratio being just so. So 960 x 640 was the only logical choice, as it allows simple pixel doubling.

The advantage of closed platfoms like the iPhone, the iPad, and games consoles is that developers can rely on a given feature set being present. Hence why the iPad won't be going widescreen; the iPhone won't be going wide(r) screen; and there will never be a PS3 or XBox 360 with a substantially different core hardware setup. Heck I believe Sony even had to be careful when launching PSP firmware which increased the CPU speed to make sure the CPU clocked down for older games because some games relied on a CPU speed of exactly 222 MHz and functioned erratically at the 333 MHz speed unlocked by the firmware change.


May 19, 2010, 3:11 pm

Excellent! The iPhone Apple should have released years ago!


May 19, 2010, 4:01 pm

@HK: I've often thought that I'd want a nano-iPhone as I hate carrying things, but they would have to rethink the UI to accommodate the smaller resolution and app developers would then have to support two substantially different devices. I'm sure it's tough already getting apps to play nicely across all the iPhone generations thus far. As for a larger screen option, if the pixels were simply larger than that would be transparent to developers and probably okay (as is the case with the Nintendo DSi XL) but a higher resolution would be a pain. As John McLean nicely summarises, there are huge advantages for having a fixed hardware platform and the less fragmentation in your product lineup the better. I think the size of the iPhone is the best compromise, even if it is a little large for my liking (and too small for yours).


May 19, 2010, 4:02 pm

@Meridius - Stereo speakers??! At best they could be placed 2 inches apart, so how you would get any kind of stereo perception from that is beyond me.

@Goldenguy - I don't buy into needing higher res. I watch a lot of movies on mine while travelling, and I get more of a sense of crystal clear resolution than when watching some of the (lesser) HD channels such as ITV HD at home on my 42" plasma.

I'd far sooner have longer battery life to squeeze in more viewing time than 320dpi


May 19, 2010, 4:23 pm

John McLean's right, Apple chose to double the resolution in both directions without changing the aspect. This was probably a choice they made to maintain compatibility with existing apps. Imagine that - an iPhone with legacy issues! A 5:3 'widescreen' ratio like the Desire's would have been nice to see, and would have cut down the size of that bezel, but sadly not to be.

Everyone's banging on about the smaller screen. Stop fretting. The difference looks tiny, I'd be surprised if it's even noticeable when you're actually using the thing.

@Dan: There's more to the higher res than just watching videos. Apps can fit more detail on the screen and everything will remain legible. Hi-res photos will also use all of the pixels, which would be something to behold. I imagine the whole interface will also be touched up to use the extra pixels.

And besides, the battery has grown in size, so you should be getting longer batter life anyway.

And stereo speakers? Really?!?


May 19, 2010, 4:54 pm

@Dan - I would have thought you'd have the stereo speakers left and right of the device when in landscape mode for watching video (so one on the bottom of the phone in portrait mode, where the current iPhone speaker is; and one on the top). That gives about 4 inches. I'm splitting hairs though - obviously you're not going to get any kind of perceptible stereo image out of it. It's a pure check-box feature and I'm delighted Apple has had the sense not to implement it - headphones all the way.

Jon Tseng

May 19, 2010, 7:49 pm

Pretty sure the iPad A4 is a Cortex A8, not an A9 as suggested in the story. I don't think there are any devices currently out for retail running an A9 at present.

It's likely to be the same SOC as the A4 in the iPad, if not pretty damn similar. Would be rather strange for AAPL to spend the R&D developing the SOC and not roll it out on its highest volume device (fixed costs, economies of scale and all that).



May 19, 2010, 8:27 pm

Can someone comment on the effect of battery life with double pixel count on same size screen. iPhone 3GS is 163 pixel per inch (ppi) which higher is than iPad (132ppi) and Macbook Pro (113ppi). As BobaFett rightly pointed out, is it really necessary. Or just market pressure similar to boasting of wasteful huge mega pixel camera specification.


May 19, 2010, 8:44 pm

@savant: Well the backlight is the part of the screen that drains the most juice, and that's still the same size. I don't think a higher-res screen will drain significantly more power like a larger screen would.

As for the necessity for the resolution, I think the benefits will be immediately obvious once you clap eyes on it. If Apple utilise it properly, everything the screen displays should be sharper and more detailed, which will make the interface even more of a joy to use. I'd pay for that over a 12MP camera any day.


May 19, 2010, 8:46 pm

@Jon Tseng: Wikipedia agrees with you :)



May 19, 2010, 8:49 pm

@Jon @Chris - while I wouldn't take Wikipedia as gospel what you say is entirely possible. The tear down of the A4 by iFixit did suggest it was an A9: http://www.brightsideofnews...

Apple hasn't said anything official - of course!


May 19, 2010, 9:08 pm


Fair nuff. I think iFixit presumed an A9 before they x-rayed it. Note step 20 part 3:



May 19, 2010, 9:12 pm

@Chris - good point. I've removed the point from the article until we know for sure ;)

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