Next-gen iPhone Screen Under a Microscope
The fourth-generation iPhone continues its world tour, apparently now showing up in the Czech Republic before it's even been released. Some savvy Czech bloggers at SuperiPhone.cz
(cached copy - site is down) somehow got their hands on some iPhone screen components and put them under a microscope to find out the next iPhone's screen resolution. The result tie with what has been widely rumored to date: an LCD screen with in-plane switching (IPS) at 640 x 960, exactly double the current iPhone's 320 x 480.
The Gizmodo prototype was noted to have a high resolution screen but since those guys couldn't get the phone to run anything, it was hard to characterize the pixel count or density. Subsequent next-gen iPhones that went missing and somehow ended up in the hands of Vietnamese blogs Tinh Tế
and Mai Nguyên
were running test suites, but the resolution was still undetermined. A report from DigiTimes
- the Taiwanese industry publication with a spotty track record for accuracy - asserted that the screen would be a 640 x 960 IPS LCD screen with fringe-field switching technology
The guys at SuperiPhone.cz got hold of next-gen display components by unknown means - through the Shenzhen factory is apparently leaking iPhone parts like a sieve
- and put the sub-pixel elements under a microscope. Since the new iPhone was dead on arrival, they had to do a sort of proxy measurement to determine the resolution. They took pictures of iPhone 3GS, iPod Touch and Nexus One screens to use as references, and then photographed the next-gen iPhone's screen components under the same magnification. The result? The new iPhone's 640 x 960 pixel screen - with a whopping 320 pixels per inch - is hardware-similar to the iPad's 1024 x 768 IPS LCD at 132 ppi. By way of comparison, existing iPhones have 160 ppi pixel density, the HTC HD2 has 217 ppi, the Nexus One (though it has a different sub-pixel arrangement) has 252 ppi, and the Motorola DROID/Milestone has 265. If verified, this would give the next iPhone's display the highest pixel density of any smartphone to date.
Because the new display had quadruple the number of pixels, giving exactly twice the horizontal and vertical pixel density, scaling apps upward to fit the screen's new resolution should be much easier than scaling for the iPad's screen. The use of proven IPS technology - though a disappointment for enthusiasts who were hoping to see active-matrix organic LED screens on the new devices - are free from the production problems that has plagued AMOLED displays.