How many pixels can Apple pack into a 4-inch screen?

A bigger screen on the iPhone 5 means more pixels in order to maintain the Retina branding. So, what exactly can we expect?

"So that is the Retina display. Awesome text, awesome images and awesome video." — Apple CEO Steve Jobs on the iPhone 4's new screen, WWDC, 7 June 2010.
(Credit: James Martin/CNET)

We asked Paul Semenza, senior vice president of analyst services at NPD DisplaySearch.

"To the best of our knowledge, the display will be 4 inches, with the same 326ppi [pixels per inch] resolution, which would make it 1136x640," he said, confirming current speculation.

That would keep the ppi ahead of popular phones like the 4.8-inch Samsung Galaxy S III (306ppi at 1280x720 resolution) and the 4.7-inch HTC One X (312ppi at 1280x720 resolution).

It would also hike the number of pixels to an estimated 727,040, compared to 614,400 on the current iPhone 4/4S with a 3.5-inch display.

Semenza continued, "You can think of [it] as a widescreen version of the double-VGA format in the 4S," he said.

Another marquee upgrade will be in-cell touch tech. "Also, we expect the display to have in-cell touch, which means the touch sensor is integrated into the TFT array of the display, which we think can make the display about 0.5mm thinner," he said.

And what kind of hardware is going to push those extra pixels around? It's not imperative that Apple upgrade the silicon to quad core (CPU) to drive those pixels, especially since it didn't take that route on the third-generation 2048x1536 iPad (that's a dual-core CPU with a quad-core GPU).

But only Apple knows what Apple thinks is imperative. We'll revisit that chip-specific speculation later.


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DefconOne posted a comment   

Who cares, it'll still be only a small 4 inches!


AlexV1 posted a comment   

Isn't the Sony Xperia S 342 ppi and the Xperia Acro S 342ppi also both runnin 1280 x 720 also ?


ChristopherM2 posted a reply   



Im Batman posted a reply   

Yes, very true but they catagorised the comparison with "popular phones".

But to retain retina branding... its not that Apple has defined what density is required, 300ppi seems to be what is the token limit.
i'm sure if they go for a larger screen and it falls under that 300 ppi level, they say that the device is to be used slightly further away due to the larger display

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