Analyst Mingchi Kuo anticipates Apple to launch a taller iPhone later this year, which will feature a 4.08-ich screen with a 1,316 x 640 resolution, a 16:9 ratio and 500-nit brightness – a significant increase over the current 3.5-inch display with a ratio of 4:3.
Kuo noted that such specifications would represent a well-balanced compromise of battery capacity, single-handed operability, backwards iPhone app compatibility and improved user experience with a bigger display.
He suggested Apple has ruled out screens above 4.3 inches, since the resulting handsets would be inconvenient to operate with one hand. The analyst also notes that displays larger than 4.3 inches require notably longer battery life.
Citing his earlier investor note, where he discussed the company’s plans to reduce the iPhone’s thickness, Kuo speculated Apple will likely keep the iPhone 5 battery capacity similar to that of the current model, around 1,400mAh.
By making the screen taller without widening it, Apple is pursuing more than just an ergonomic goal, the analyst believes. The unchanged width wouldn’t require app makers to redevelop their products, as legacy applications could simply be letterbox. The new ratio would offer more viewing space when typing in portrait orientation and more naturally display video in landscape mode. On Kuo’s opinion, a longer form factor would bring the iPhone’s receiver close to the user’s mouth and the speaker close to their ears.
The analyst’s predictions do line up with several earlier reports that have claimed the next iPhone might become longer while retaining its current width. He did question the alleged case design leaks that have emerged in recent weeks, though. To Kuo, the designs don’t seem very real.
The bigger screen is expected to boost sales of the sixth-gen iPhone when it debuts. Kuo estimates that Apple will ship 65 to 70 million iPhone 5 units by the end of this year.