An artist rendering of what an iPhone with a larger display may look like compared to the current version.
There isn't a week that goes by these days that you don't hear about the 4-inch iPhone. It's looking very likely that Apple's next iPhone will come with a new elongated screen along with an even higher resolution than the iPhone 4S's Retina display.
Last week, The Wall Street Journal made headlines when it unofficially confirmed the next iPhone will come with a 4-inch display, increasing .5-inches from the current iPhone 4S's 3.5-inch display. Reuters then quickly "confirmed" the WSJ's story.
Wednesday, Apple blog 9to5Mac revealed a few tidbits that add more fuel to those two fires.
The crux of the report is that the next iPhone will sport a 3.95-inch display with 1136x640 resolution (that's up from the current 960x640 resolution on the iPhone 4S). The iPhone's dimensions will remain roughly the same, meaning the actual size of the device will not grow, despite the slightly larger screen. A smaller dock connector is also included on the prototypes, reaffirming a previous report from iMore.
9to5Mac says Apple's currently testing two next-gen iPhones in "thick, locked shells in order to disguise the exterior design to 'undisclosed' employees."
iOS 6 is also being tweaked and tested with the new higher resolution to accommodate a fifth row of icons.
The main issue with a "taller" screen for the iPhone is the changed aspect ratio. Both the iPhone and iPad have a 3:2 aspect ratio that allows easy scaling of apps (2x). But an 1136x640 resolution iPhone would make scaling iPhone apps up to the iPad a tad troublesome, as apps would be designed to be closer to 16:9 than 3:2. Apple, could of course always just add "black bars" to its apps when scaling up to the iPad.
A 3.95-inch 1136x640 resolution iPhone isn't going to dethrone the 4-inch+ 1280x720 screens commonly found on most Android smartphones today, but it'll give Apple fans something to cheer for.