Sizing It Up: Is Apple Already Testing The Next iPhone?
Michael Harper for RedOrbit.com
Apple’s newest iPhone is widely expected to have a larger, 4-inch screen. Now, according to 9to5 Mac, this rumor is becoming closer to a real possibility as they are reporting one of these devices is currently in the testing phases at Apple headquarters in Cupertino.
The Apple-centric blog says they have “independently” heard Apple is testing multiple versions of the next iPhone, and both of them boast a 3.95-inch screen – just shy of 4 inches.
True to Apple´s “religion of secrecy,” the company is taking its usual great pains to disguise the new device from everyone, including their own employees.
As detailed on 9to5mac.com: “Right now we know of a few next-generation iPhone candidates in testing. These prototype phones are floating around Apple HQ in thick, locked shells in order to disguise the exterior design to “undisclosed” employees. We know of two next-generation iPhones in testing with a larger display: the iPhone 5,1 and iPhone 5,2. These phones are in the PreEVT stage of development and are codenamed N41AP (5,1) and N42AP (5,2). Because Apple reserves certain models for internal-only usage (such as the N96 phone we previously reported on), we´re not sure which of the two devices will make its way into the world later this year.”
Such testing is common as new iPhones and other devices work their way through the pipeline from concept to delivery.
According to these rumors, Apple will not just be changing the size of the screen and leaving the resolution untouched. Instead, they will simply be adding pixels to the display. Therefore, the new iPhone Retina Display resolution is rumored to be 640 x 1136. Currently, iPhone´s resolution is 640 x 960.
This new resolution would add an extra 176 pixels to the top of the display. The new size could be the same width at 1.94 inches, but will stretch out to 3.45 inches. Since this new size is close to the current 16:9 aspect ratio, Apple will stay away from any fragmentation between devices.
9to5Mac is also reporting that Apple plans to take advantage of these extra pixels in a special iOS 6 build for iPhone. Apple could add an extra 5th row of icons to the display, therefore allowing users to add an extra four apps to their home screens. App developers would also be able to offer more content in their apps as they take advantage of the extra real estate.
The site also takes time to throw their weight behind a few other rumors which have been circling for the past few weeks.
Besides the new display, Apple´s new iPhone is said to include a new home button and a new dock connector. The site says their source has confirmed that these prototypes feature both of these new designs, though the dock connector is not the expected “pill shape,” as previously rumored. Instead, the site says the prototypes have smaller dock connectors, closer to the size of a micro and a mini USB connector.
This news could be a confirmation of several other rumors, should it be true. It´s also important to remember that even if this news about the prototypes is true, Apple could still make changes if these devices don´t stand up to their standards.
Apple will notoriously test many kinds of devices before they release the phone they feel is best. For example, before they ever released the first iPhone, Apple had been testing a model with a full QWERTY keyboard before deciding on the iconic and revolutionary multi-touch display.
The new iPhone is widely expected to be released this fall, rather than this summer. We will get some peak into what the new iPhone will be able to do in a few weeks, as Apple is expected to focus much of their attention on iOS 6 during their WWDC 2012 conference.