A report in the Wall Street Journal today says that Apple has been ordering larger iPhone screens from their Asian suppliers, attributing the source to “people familiar with the matter.” These mysterious shadowy figures say that the screens will measure out to be four inches diagonally, a half-inch larger than Apple’s current smart phone screen. While we’ve heard similar non-attributions from other news outlets, Apple’s made no official announcement and declined to comment in the WSJ story.
The iPhone 4S has a smaller screen when compared to its competitors, especially the Samsung Galaxy S III which features a 4.8″ AMOLED screen. The iPhone’s current screen is also at an odd aspect ratio for video content (3:2), causing fullscreen (4:3) and HD wide-screen video (16:9) to require either cropping or letterboxing. That said, introducing a new aspect ratio would introduce fragmentation into the app store, requiring more work from developers to combat compatibility issues for current phones. Even enlarging the screen at the same resolution could throw off design and interface elements.
Apple has the option of chasing Samsung’s feature-set with a larger screen, but Apple would be exposing itself to the same issues that developers programming for Android already have to contend with. As Apples phones are now, if a developer codes an app with the iPhone 3G in mind, it can be expected to display correctly on the iPhone 4S, and vice versa in many cases.
Would you like to see an iPhone with a larger screen, even if it means that apps might not be 100% compatible between older and newer phones? Let us know what you think in the comments section below.