By Jaime Rivera | June 4, 2013 6:43 PM
At times when we’ve got octa-core processors and we carry more RAM on our smartphones than computers could ever carry less than 10 years ago, it’s clear that there’s a huge fight for supremacy when it comes to which product carries the most revolutionary specs. Sadly, since none of these specs are exclusive to a specific OEM, it seems that all flagship phones do exactly the same thing but with a different brand and UI.
When Apple launched the iPhone 4, there’s no denying that the company defied many concepts at the time. They sandwiched glass and stainless steel in order to make one of the most beautiful and iconic smartphone designs in history at times when nobody would’ve ever dared. The other thing they did was to push the limits of screen resolution at the time. Many of you may not remember this, but back in 2010, the most screen resolution that we would see in the market was WVGA, which even though better than the iPhone 3GS’ HVGA display, didn’t necessarily mean that you didn’t see pixels. With the launch of the iPhone 4, we met the company’s first Retina Display, and I’m sure we all believed Steve Jobs when he said that the human eye isn’t capable of seeing pixels above 300 PPI.
Competing companies struggled with this for a while. It took them 3 years to reach 1080p resolution displays that now exceed Apple’s current 326 PPI on the iPhone 5. You’d assume that it’s now time for Apple to raise the stakes once again and increase the resolution of the next iPhone, right? Well, if you’ve been following the rumors, it seems as if Apple does have another “double-the-screen-resolution” project up its sleeve for the next iPhone. The question is if you really believe that this could be true?
The short answer is that it could be true. Apple is known for prototyping a lot, and we don’t discard the fact that the company may be trying it out. Sadly, going as far as to actually pushing this technology forward is about more than just the ability of a display to pull it off, and here’s why we think that this is not a smart idea yet.
So Apple lied to us about the Retina Display?
Steve Jobs did a great job at selling us this new iPhone as the best thing to ever happen to planet earth because there were so many pixels on the Retina Display, that the human eye isn’t capable of seeing them. The problem is that even though I don’t wear glasses nor have the sharpest eyesight on the team; I’ll admit that I do see pixels on the iPhone 5. It could be because I may hold the phone too close to my eyes, but hey, on a small screen, that’s the natural thing to do, right?
Surely a display with double the resolution of the current Retina Display would look much sharper than the current one, but then I question Apple’s motives since they explicitly said that I shouldn’t be able to see any pixels now. I know that I sound like the worst troll right now, but what are we going to call the current display once a newer one is launched? Should we call it the fake Retina Display?
Whatever they decide, this would kill the buzz for the resolution on their current-generation iPad and MacBook Pro line-up, and their explanation of why these two later products have a Retina Display with less PPI than the iPhone would lose complete credibility.
Technically, Apple has bigger fish to fry
Assuming that the rumors are true and that we get a new “4K Retina Display” (or whatever name they come up with) for a phone, the implementation would be something that I’d have to see to believe. As it stands, the more pixels a display has, the more battery you need to power all these pixels. At times when we still struggle to get any iPhone to last through a full day of “app-loving” usage, none of us have ever been satisfied with its stamina.
I’m not saying that we wouldn’t love to have four times more pixels on the display of the next iPhone. It would even make sense to have an iPhone with a bigger display to actually put all those new pixels to good use. Sadly, I would rather see Apple work on giving me the current Retina Display with twice the battery life and the same slim design, than to get more pixels on a phone I’d barely be able to use before its battery dies.
The bottom line
Now let’s face it, Apple really needs this next iPhone to be a success. That’s hard to do when historically this next iPhone will most likely retain the design of the current one and just improve the spec sheet and its features. You’d assume that this is the perfect time for Apple to boost everything on the spec sheet, including the display, but then again, the question is if we really need all those pixels on the display.
For those of you that have followed Apple over the years, we’ve seen them do some conservative things like adopting LTE until they could guarantee that the battery would last, to crazy things like exposing the antenna of the phone to your fingers. It’s really hard to predict if they’ll play it safe or dare the odds, but whichever case happens next week would reveal a lot about the company’s new leadership.
Think about it for a minute. If you were given the choice between double the battery life or double the pixels on your current Retina Display or 1080p display, what would you choose? I personally feel that we don’t need more pixels for, and I’d rather get improvements in other areas. Leave us a comment and tell us what you prefer?