Big iPhone 5 Screen Could Throw App Developers Into Flux

The recent rumors are suggesting that the iPhone 5 will indeed feature a larger screen. But a larger screen also means that app developers will have to retool their apps for the new resolution.

In an iPhone 5-related report filed by IBTimes today, several new rumors and speculations have come to light, particularly the possible acquisition of Israel-based Anobit, a flash memory components designer. But IBTimes also synthesized several of the other hot rumors floating around, namely the belief that the iPhone 5 will indeed feature a larger screen.

IBTimes points out the following: “In November, Hitachi and Sony began shipping 4-inch LCD panels for final production of ‘new iOS devices’ believed to be the next-generation iPhone. A bigger screen would help Apple compete against phone makers that make bigger screens, such as Samsung, while also providing a more intense and deep Retina Display.” Just as we have noted in earlier articles, production rumors such as these not only speak to the viability of a larger screen for the iPhone 5, but also that full-scale production of the device may not be as far as away as many would guess.

But the IBTimes article also brings up another interesting point: the advent of a new, larger screen on the iPhone 5 will require a retooling of apps by Apple developers: “If Apple were to expand the screen size for the iPhone 5, the company would unfortunately force developers to build new sets of applications specifically for the new display. Apple’s 3.5-inch Retina Displays are available on the iPhone 4, iPhone 4S and iPod Touch devices, but that 326 ppi density would not hold up on a bigger screen.” given the fact that a new iPhone 5 could mean a major overhaul of the iOS app market, one has to wonder if, because the app market has become such a juggernaut for the tech community, is changing the resolution of the iPhone 5 prohibitive? Could this be the main reason why Apple has been reluctant to increase the screen size on past iPhones?

IBTimes seems to think that, whether or not that may be the case, Apple will move forward with increased screen resolution: “bigger screens with a higher pixel density would mean higher resolution for watching movies and viewing detailed images, from PDFs to X-rays to MRIs to 3D architectural renderings. Apple is reportedly doubling the pixel density of its next iPad, so it would make sense if Apple increased the pixels within its next iPhone, too.” It would seem that Apple is ready to make this jump, in spite of the difficulties.

That being said, since so much rests on the app development community for iOS devices, it remains to be seen if Apple’s screen sizes and resolution will always lag behind its competitors in terms of evolution, due simply to the fact that these changes affect more than just Cupertino’s own production challenges. My guess is that, even if we see a larger screen on the iPhone 5, we not see changes to the screen size on the iPhone 5S or even the iPhone 6.


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