The next generation of Apple’s iPhone is looking increasingly likely to sport a larger display and possibly a change in shape to be closer to 16:9, the widescreen TV and video format.
---- More on the iPhone 5.
Apart from upping the resolution in the current generation of handsets to 640 x 960 pixels with what Apple called the Retina Display, the screen size and shape has otherwise remained the same since the iPhone’s creation – that is 3.5 inches corner to corner and a 3:2 aspect ratio.
According to 9to5Mac, there is more than one iPhone 5 prototype in testing, clad in locked outer shells to hide their design from prying eyes. The website reports that two of the next-gen models have a larger display, so even if certain other features are dropped from the final version, it seems almost certain that screen size will be going up this year.
9to5Mac's source says the new display is 3.999 inches diagonally and that it is also adding further pixels due to the change in aspect ratio. The resolution is said to be 640 x 1136, putting it much closer to native 16:9 proportions. It means videos will play at full screen without compromising in some way, either by zooming or letterboxing.
Naturally the new shape will mean a redesign of the home screen, as it allows for an extra row of icons and other user interface tweaks.
Other rumours flying around suggest that the phone's dock connector will be narrower, reportedly between the size of a mini and micro USB connector. What that means for those who own various speaker docks and other peripherals remains to be seen – maybe adapters will be available?
Finally, in Forbes, Gene Munster, an analyst at Piper Jaffray, is quoted as saying, “We believe the iPhone 5 will have a completely redesigned body style, which may more closely resemble the metallic rear panel of the current iPad.”