Apple Reportedly Testing GPU Drivers for Higher-Resolution iPhone Screens

iPhone 5 mockup

iPhone 4S and iPhone 4’s Retina display is high resolution, but a report by a German tech blog claims that Apple is working on even higher resolution displays, and is testing GPU drivers for dual-core and quad-core processors to handle things.

At 960×640, Apple’s Retina display has been one of the highest resolution screens available for smartphones until only recently, when the Galaxy Nexus and HTC Rezound both came out with 1280×720 screens. And, while Apple’s still has a higher pixel density, it looks like the bar is still moving up. That being the case, it’s no surprise that Apple’s working on higher resolution screens, especially since the iPad 3 will likely include a Retina display itself.

German blog Macerkopf.de claims from two sources that Apple’s been looking into new GPU drivers: 4 drivers for the current resolution of 960×640, 2 for 1280×720, and 1 for 1440×800. They’re testing one set for a dual-core processor, and one set for a quad-core processor. We don’t know when they will be released, however, nor for which devices. We also don’t know whether the next-generation A6 processor will be dual- or quad-core yet.

One key thing to note here is that when Apple introduced the Retina display, it was double the size of the previous iPhone screens. This made it easy to up-scale apps. With the two resolutions Apple’s allegedly testing,  developers will have to update their apps to ensure that the content fits the new size as automatic scaling would not be an option.

Previous accounts have claimed that Apple did not introduce a larger screen on the iPhone 4 because it would lower pixel density. But, if next generation iPhone rumors are true, then we would see a larger display. If the pixel density was to be kept the same, then the resolution would increase along with the display size without sacrificing quality. This is speculation, but it does fit in with some of the rumors we’ve heard so far. Things would then come down to the processor, since it would have to handle the higher resolution, and we can see that Apple’s already working on that front.

MacRumors has pointed out that the blog doesn’t usually publish rumors. One of their recent rumors, about iOS 5.0.2 coming in late November, hasn’t been accurate, so we’ll have to take this with a grain of salt.

[via Macerkopf.de, Google Translated, MacRumors]