When Apple unveiled the iPhone 5, it marked the first time Apple had changed the screen size on their phone. This departure from a 3.5-inch screen to a 4-inch screen had meant an important change to the aspect ratio, which went from 3:2 to 16:9. It seems that Apple may now further embrace this aspect ratio in the 4th gen iPad, with analyst Paul Meuller stating that Apple is prototyping a widescreen iPad
According to Meuller,
I have talked to at least three people close to Apple who say that there are new iPad prototypes that have a 16:9 aspect ratio. They aren’t talking about the upcoming iPad mini either
He also claims that more information will be divulged in the next couple of weeks.
The Examiner talked to their source from Apple regarding the matter, to which they received no definitive answer. However, he did hint at something, saying that
It appears Apple is no longer against widescreen devices.
Obviously referencing the release of the larger iPhone 5, he may be suggesting that we will see some widescreen devices in Apple’s near future.
As to how the user experience would be altered by this new screen size, it would be significantly different. Holding the iPad in portrait mode would make for a better browsing experience, with more content fitting on the screen.
Although the biggest problem with the larger screen would be compatibility with apps. While Apple’s core operating system is adaptable to new screen sizes, this would not be an easy transition for app developers. As seen with the iPhone 5, updates are needed to be made to every third-party app for all the screen real estate to be used. Otherwise, you are left with two black bars at the top and bottom of the screen, which really dampens the whole experience.
This new screen size would further fragment the Apple iOS ecosystem, with screen sizes being different for the current iPhone, the old iPhones, the 4th gen iPad and the older generations.
This rumor is quite interesting, but the new screen size would be hard to implement, although I wouldn’t put it past Apple to give it a crack.
- What it will be like to use the next iPhone’s 4-inch display (apple24seven.com)
- The iPhone 5: Everything you need to know (apple24seven.com)