Apple is reportedly targeting September 9 for its next iPhone unveiling. While rumors of a larger 4.7-inch display seem likely, one major unanswered question is whether the company will bump up the resolution as well. New details unearthed in the latest Xcode SDK beta indicate that’ll indeed be the case.
According to 9to5Mac’s Mark Gurman, certain iOS 8 files in the latest Xcode 6 SDK beta are optimized for an iPhone with a resolution of 414 x 736.
As Gurman explains, the iPhone SDK parses hardware resolutions via “point values,” so the actual “Retina” resolution is in fact double whatever numbers the SDK presents. For example, the 4-inch iPhone 5, 5s, and 5c display resolution is 640 x 1136, but the SDK presents it as 320 x 568.
With this information in hand it’s possible to deduct that the new iPhone could have a resolution of 828 x 1472. That equates to a 360PPI density, up from 326PPI on its current flagship, while maintaining the same 16:9 aspect ratio.
The report notes Apple has also been experimenting with 3x resolutions, which in this case would result in 1242 x 2208 pixels. While that isn't out of the realm of possibility given a few phones are already hitting resolutions up to 1440 x 2560, 9to5Mac concludes Apple is unlikely to go this high if it wants to preserve battery life and a thin and light form factor in the iPhone 6.
While for the average user a bump in resolution will result in more screen real estate, and perhaps some extra rows of app icons, the number is particularly of interest to developers who’ll need to update their apps for the new iPhone.