Apple’s World-Wide Developers Conference (WWDC) is rapidly approaching and the rumors as to what we can expect to see are flying everywhere. One thing that’s becoming increasingly certain is that we won’t be seeing the unveiling of the next iPhone. It’s looking more and more likely that Apple will announce the device possibly in August, for a September (Fall) release. What we do know is that Apple will show off the latest version of its mobile operating system, iOS 6, we’re still not 100% sure as to what features Apple has in store for us, but all signs are pointing to a new “in-house” map service, possibly some deeper Facebook integration and some other much needed/requested functionality. While just about everyone has been asking for a new UI layout, live titles/widgets/icons or third party Siri support, as with most Apple products and services, we’ll be left guessing right up till the event kicks off.
But a recent report on the next iPhone has me wondering how Apple will handle the new OS’s debut. You may have seen a report that two heavy hitters in the news world, Reuters and the Wall Street Journal, both reported that Apple has already placed orders for 4-inch display components from Sharp, LG and Japan Displays Inc. If Apple is truly planning to incorporate a 4-inch display in their next iPhone, then the next version of iOS is going to have to show signs of this and it will definitely be something developers will have to know, so they can design new apps or re-tool their existing ones to work on the new, larger display. Some of you may say, that Apple could keep the same resolution and aspect ratio so developers won’t even notice. Here’s the problem with that theory, if Apple keeps the same aspect ratio and just makes the screen bigger by a full half inch, the pixel count will drop below their quoted “Retina” level. With reports of Apple putting Retina displays in almost all of their devices over the next year, I can’t see Apple lowering the display resolution of the new iPhone, it’s just not something Apple would do, they don’t go backwards. So either Apple has to change the aspect ratio of the display or they’ll make a larger display and increase the pixel density to some ridiculously high number, either way, both methods would require developers to take note, so they can build apps for the new version of iOS and ultimately, the next iPhone.
In the past, no iOS update would have outed a new iPhone, because they display size has never changed. But, just prior to the release of the iPhone 4, hi-res icons began to leak, thus leading proof to the new Retina display that it would be using. So if Apple is planning on using a larger display in their next iPhone, chances are the next version of iOS will reveal some of its secrets. Does that mean Apple will at least show off the new iPhone in a concept form and announce it early, only to be released later, absolutely not. I don’t think we’ll see a hint of the new iPhone, Apple may not even mention the new display size in iOS 6 at all, only previewing it for the 4S and iPad. When Cook and crew take the stage later this year to officially announce the new iPhone, then we’ll see them discuss the new display and will most likely release the new smartphone a week or two later, giving developers time to update their apps.
In any event, if Apple is indeed bumping up the iPhone’s display to 4-inches, then iOS 6 will have the code for the larger display within it, with a little digging, we fully expect it to be leaked out eventually, sooner than later.