The next iPhone’s OLED display should boost Retina resolution to a whopping 2,436-by-1,125 pixels, or almost twice that of the iPhone 6/62/7 series, giving the upcoming phone a screen density of a crisp 521 pixels per inch (PPI). That’s what KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo wrote in a note issued to clients on Thursday, a copy of which was obtained by 9to5Mac.
The numbers would give iPhone 8 a screen of 21:9 versus a 16:9 screen ration on current models. By contrast, the current 4.7-inch iPhone 7 has a screen resolution of 1,334-by-750 pixels at 326 PPI—enough to support 720p video content without rescaling.
Its 5.5-inch iPhone 7 Plus counterpart is rocking a Full HD 1,920-by-1,080 pixel resolution display at 401PPI. Apple adopted Retina screens with iPhone 4 back in 2010.
For what it’s worth, KGI’s report states that iPhone 8’s 5.8-inch display with an active display area of about 5.1 inches will actually have a native resolution of 2,800-by-1,242 pixels while the content area would be 2,436-by-1,125 pixels.
That’s the same trick as Plus models of iPhone use, mind you.
iPhone 6/6s/7 Plus, for instance, renders everything on a 2,208-by-1,242 canvas, with the GPU downscaling every frame to fit the phone’s native display resolution of 1,920-by-1,080 pixels.
Apple will probably use 3x Retina scaling for apps that have not been specifically optimized for iPhone 8’s increased screen resolution. With 2x Retina scaling, apps render the interface at 667×375 points (not pixels, points). At 3x scaling, iPhone 8’s main screen canvas would be equal to 812×375 points.
Because the 375 point vertical resolution is identical to the current iPhone 7 models, apps specifically optimized for iPhone 8 should have similar design like those developed for 4.7-inch iPhones, with the exception of an additional 145 points worth of height.
“The physical size of the interface would be a tad larger (the screen is bigger after all) but a single line of text will take up the same amount of horizontal space,” noted author Benjamin Mayo.
Vertically scrolling content would be able to show more rows at a time. As for the rumored “function area” at the bottom of the phone, it should be about 290 pixels tall.
In his previous report to clients, Kuo said iPhone 8 would use a new “function area” at the bottom of the display, located in the same area as the current Home button, thanks to the handset having an almost bezel-less full-screen front face.
The overall face of iPhone 8 should be about 5.8 inches with the usable display real estate around 5.15 inches, the analyst has predicted.
Kuo also said that iPhone 8 would be similar in size to the current 4.7-inch iPhone 7 model and pack in a much bigger battery thanks to a stacked mainboard design.
From Kuo’s previous note:
The most apparent change of the OLED iPhone will be a full-screen design, along with the elimination of the Home button and current fingerprint recognition technology.Of particular note is that we expect the OLED iPhone will adopt a 5.8” physical OLED panel. But the actual display area will be around 5.15 inches, and the rest will be an area for functions (e.g. allocation of virtual buttons).
KGI, along with JPMorgan and other analyst, is adamant that iPhone 8 will lose the Home button and Touch ID and use new biometric technologies like facial scanning that should be more secure for Apple Pay and work better in wet conditions if the next iPhone is more water resistant, as rumored.