After resisting efforts to join the 16:9 aspect ratio crowd, Apple is rumored to be upgrading its LED Cinema Display monitors and iMacs to support the widescreen format that’s appropriate for consumption of videos–such as DVDs, iTunes purchases, and web-based HD video content from YouTube and others. Changes to mobile product line–like the flush edge-to-edge glass screen–has eventually made it to Apple’s other products, such as its portables and desktops; similarly, Apple’s experiments with the 16:9 aspect ratio screens on desktops could potentially lead to changes to the company’s iPhone, iPod Touch, and iPad screen sizes and resolutions.
For Apple, the iPad brought with it criticism among some due to the device’s screen aspect ratio. With a high resolution screen that’s great for consumption of Internet content, including video, many were surprised that Apple didn’t go with a 16:9 aspect ratio that would display movies and videos beautifully without wasted space occupied by a black bar. The decision, however, to stick with a screen aspect ratio that was closer that of printed paper perhaps comes from the fact that Apple was still focused on the print industry, especially with its focus on iBooks and encouraging users to bring along PDFs, typically in 8.5″ by 11″ form factor.
However, some smartphones are already bucking the trend and are already using the 16:9 aspect ratio. Android phones such as the original Motorola Droid and the new Droid X both sport the 16:9 aspect ratio with its FWVGA resolution of 854 X 480 pixels.
Though it’s unclear what Apple’s interests are, a 16:9 aspect ratio phone or tablet would shift Apple’s focus away from print and towards videos, a push that the company has been making on the web as it focuses on HTML5 technologies and try to steer developers away from Flash, especially in video and interactive content and advertising.
Apple’s update to its desktop monitor and consumer desktop computer is speculated to be announced today, Tueday, according to numerous industry insiders.