iPhone HD: 960×640 Confirmed?

960×640: According to SuperPhone.cz the next-generation iPhone, which I will refer to as simply iPhone HD (read iPhone HD), will sport a pixel format of 960×640. The site obtained the iPhone HD display and took a look under a microscope and counted the number of RGB sub-pixels. The result? Twice the density horizontally and vertically compared to the current iPhone 3GS that has a 480×320 pixel format and a resolution of 164.83 PPI (Apple reports the resolution as 163 PPI, which is interesting. Maybe the LCD size is slightly larger than 3.5 inches. At around 3.539 inches the resolution would be 163.01 PPI, perfectly matched to what Apple states.)

Same Size: The exact size of the display in the iPhone HD is unknown but there has been rumors suggesting it is slightly smaller than the current 3.5-inch TFT LCD. But assuming the size is the same as the iPhone HD’s at 3.539 inches, resolution would be 326.02 PPI, which would be more dense than any other smartphone currently on the market and would be on the market when the iPhone HD comes out. Fantastic especially for reading text.

Elegant Solution: The quadrupling of pixels overall or doubling of pixels on each axis would elegantly solve the problem of pre-iPhone HD apps running on a display with a different pixel format. A single pixel on pre-iPhone HD phones would now be displayed with four. Since the resolution is doubled (from 163 to 326 PPI) the overall effect on the eye would be the same. In other words current iPhone apps would look exactly the same on the iPhone HD and you wouldn’t experience any blurring.

Concerns: There are two concerns, maybe three. First, 960×640 is awfully close to 1024×768, which is the iPad’s pixel format. Sure the iPad is much larger (3.5 inches versus 9.7 inches) but with a pixel format so close I will bet the iPhone HD will take a considerable amount of sales away from the iPad. I would rather have one device, the iPhone HD, that does everything well including displaying ebooks, magazines, etc. the type of stuff the iPad does so well right now. Plus you get all the other goodies such as front-facing camera (as well as the much higher-resolution one on the back), video recording, etc.

The second concern is related to the first. When building apps for the iPhone HD and the iPad now you have two pixel format choices of 960×640 and 1024×768. They are close but different enough that developers will need to build two versions of their apps. This isn’t any different from the current situation but it isn’t any better either and it might be a tad worse frustratingly so since the two pixel formats are so close. I wonder if you can run iPad apps on the iPhone HD because I don’t think people would want to be forced to re-purchase the apps they already have on the iPad to run on the iPhone HD. I have a stinkin’ feeling that you’ll need to.

Resolution Independence: This last concern is less of a concern and more of a hope. Maybe it is possible that Apple will evolve its OS X operating system, which the iPhone OS is based on, toward resolution independence (read Resolution Independence) and then all of the problems of having different pixel formats can be solved. But I am not sure Apple is quite yet ready for that given the company is trying to provide an elegant hardware-level solution (exactly quadrupling pixels/doubling resolution) to a problem associated with the higher-resolution display on the iPhone HD.

Not Perfect, But Fantastic: 960×640 will look absolutely fantastic but we are still a long ways off from what we normally experience reading magazines, which are printed from 1200-DPI plates (and higher), a bit less than four times the density of the iPhone HD’s 326 PPI. Still the visual experience from the iPhone HD should be absolutely fantastic and better than anything that’s out there. Source: MacRumors Thanks Paul S.!