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Apple Testing GPU Drivers for Higher-Resolution iPhone Screens?

Macerkopf.de reports [Google translation] that it has learned from an Apple software engineer that the company is currently testing fourteen different GPU drivers for iPhone hardware, including several drivers for running displays at higher resolutions of 1280 x 720 and 1440 x 800. The iPhone 4 and 4S currently utilize a 960 x 640 display.

According to the report, Apple is testing two sets of seven drivers each targeting either dual-core or quad-core chips. Within each set, Apple is said to be testing four drivers targeting the current 960 x 640 display size, two targeting 1280 x 720 displays and one targeting 1440 x 800 displays.

The report notes that these drivers are only in testing and thus not necessarily indicative of any shipping product. In addition, the higher resolutions are not clean multiples of the current iPhone resolution, meaning that developers would have to offer newly-scaled content to fit the new size, with Apple having to use a non-ideal automatic scaling to allow current content to display on the new device. In the transition to the current Retina displays, Apple doubled the screen's resolution in both the vertical and horizontal directions, allowing lower-resolution apps to be easily scaled up using pixel doubling techniques.

Macerkopf has not been a frequent source of rumors, and most recently incorrectly claimed that iOS 5.0.2 would be coming in late November to further address battery issues. The claim was later retracted after it was said that memory leaks were delaying the public launch. The original report also cited major enhancements to Siri for the first significant update for iOS 5. But with the first developer build of iOS 5.1 being released last week, there is yet to be any evidence of such Siri enhancements.

Related roundups: iPhone 5c, iPhone 5s, iPhone 6

Top Rated Comments

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Posted: 31 months ago
My ipHone's 3.5" screen has a higher resolution than my original 12" screen I had for my Mac LC. :(
Rating: 6 Positives
Posted: 31 months ago
Keep the 960x640 screen, but bump the size up to 4" and keep the form factor as close to the current one as possible...
Rating: 6 Positives
Posted: 31 months ago
4" 1280x720 (or more) screen.

Yes and Yes
Rating: 5 Positives
Posted: 31 months ago
Great, I'm curious if there would be that much of an improvement. My eyes can't detect any pixilation right now on the iPhone 4's screen when viewing at a normal distance.

The iPad however...
Rating: 5 Positives
Posted: 31 months ago

I'm pretty sure the iphone display is much greater than 720p


nope
Rating: 5 Positives
Posted: 31 months ago
Not surprised if true. My belief is that the next iPhone resolution will be 1152x720 or 1440x960 though to keep the current screen ratio.
Rating: 3 Positives
Posted: 31 months ago
I think the next iPhone will have the same ppi, but a larger screen, therefore old apps will fill only part of the screen, the same way iPhone apps are displayed on the iPad, and this gives future app developers the ability to utilize more screen space.
Rating: 2 Positives
Posted: 31 months ago

I'm pretty sure the iphone display is much greater than 720p


Not the case.

720p refers to number of pixels present on the shorter side of the screen. So in the case of the iPhone I guess you could say it has "640p"

So compared to a 720p or 1080p television the iPhone has fewer pixels, but since these pixels are crammed onto a 3.5in screen instead of a 55in the image quality is spectacular due its high pixel density. (326 pixels per inch for the iPhone).
Rating: 2 Positives
Posted: 31 months ago
I do believe this is not for iPhones. I think it's for retina iPad displays. If you change the resolution ratio on an iOS screen. You piss off a lot of developers who have to remake their apps for the new screen size ratios. Apple is not dumb and would not do this.

Also what's the point between the current retina iPhone screen and some super retina screen when the human eye at the average viewing distance can not tell the difference? Wasted pixels if you as me.
Rating: 2 Positives
Posted: 31 months ago
Umm...
Nobody's noticed that 1440x800 and 1280x720 both represent different aspect ratios from the current 1.5 aspect ratio of 960x640?

That suggests not just a higher resolution, but a completely different screen design and probably a completely different form factor. This could be the future "iPod": a 5 or 6 inch media player with an aspect ratio of 1280x720 that could AirPlay to an HDTV set without having to letterbox. It would be more like a long rectangle (like an HDTV) and less square-ish than the current iPhone aspect ratio. Perhaps this could also be the future remote control for an AppleTV set since the content on the TV set would scale down perfectly (in terms of aspect ratio) to match the content displayed on the remote control.
Rating: 1 Positives

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