updated 07:50 am EDT, Thu April 30, 2009
2009 iPhone Screen and Vid
Apple's update to the iPhone this year will not only be necessary for the new video recording feature but will also have a better display, according to a purported leak from those with access to the new hardware. Without entering into detail, the source for BusinessWeek says the 2009 refresh has an "improved screen" beyond the 320x480 LCD that has been a staple of the iPhone since 2007. Whether this is a resolution increase or a change to a different display technology, such as AMOLED (active matrix organic light-emitting diode), isn't known.
Resolution increases have been one of the primary upgrades for other smartphone manufacturers in 2009. Nokia has opted for 360x640 displays in the 5800 XpressMusic and N97; HTC, LG and others have also moved to 480x800 displays, which are sharp enough to display most 480p widescreen video without losing detail. AMOLED has also been an option at similar resolutions and has been commonplace on virtually all of Samsung's newer high-end phones, such as the Impression, i8910 and Ultra Touch; it provides much improved color accuracy, brightness and power efficiency but is more expensive to make than LCDs.
Regardless of display choice, the new tip reinforces earlier reports that users will not only be able to capture videos and share them to MobileMe but that they will also have the option of editing recorded footage before it's shared elsewhere. The resulting video is characterized as "stunningly sharp," and the experience itself is likened to recording with a Flip video camera from Pure Digital, where features are limited but extremely easy to use.
As those who've tried enabling the video feature on beta iPhone 3.0 firmware have been unsuccessful with existing iPhones, the mention suggests the new iPhone may be necessary to enable the option in the camera app. If so, it would still be unclear whether the limitation would be marketing-driven or else a virtue of camera hardware; Apple may need a more responsive camera sensor or an updated media processor for its intended results.
The new iPhone is expected to get a public unveiling at WWDC in June and to be released within a few weeks of the developer gathering.