iPhone fans who were hoping to get a range of screen-size options might be in for disappointment later this year.
In note today, UBS analyst Steve Milunovich says that his check on the company’s supply chain indicated that only one of the two rumoured models of iPhone 6 is being prepared for launch.
For those who need a refresher, the Wall Street Journal reported in January that Apple was working on two larger models of the iPhone 6: one with a 4.7-inch screen, and another measuring in at approximately 5.5 inches.
As Barron’s Tiernan Ray notes, Milunovich thinks that an August or September (rather than the rumoured June) release of the 4.7-inch model “seems certain.”
But the 5.5-inch model may not make it in time for that launch, or even at all. One key issue is that it is rumoured to have the same resolution as the 4.7-inch screen, scaled up — which, depending on the resolution Apple chooses, could adversely affect the screen’s quality when compared with its smaller sibling, as it would have lower pixel density.
The alternatives to that are using two different resolutions, which app developers dislike because they have to alter their designs and/or images in the app to account for the different sizes, or following the model of the iPad Air/iPad mini with Retina, which both share a resolution so ridiculously high that the different sizes don’t adversely affect quality when comparing the two.
If the latter is the case, it would mean that Apple is considering changing the pixel density on the iPhone for the first time since the Retina screen was released on the iPhone 4 in 2010 — the iPhone 5, 5C, and 5S all share the same number of pixels per inch as the smaller, older iPhones, but added several hundred rows of pixels to account for the longer length of their screens.