Engadget is reporting that though Apple boasts a “widescreen” display for the iPhone, its screen is actually a non-standard aspect ratio:
Well, anyone who sat in Moscone Center to witness the holy unveiling surely noticed the screen cropping (letterboxing) that occurred when Steve played Pirates of the Carribean. That’s because the iPhone isn’t “widescreen” as the term is customarily understood outside of the reality distortion field — it is not a 1.78:1 (16×9) aspect ratio. Rather, the display utilizes a 1.5:1 aspect ratio.
Apple has a history of creating and then filling its own hardware niches. Large capacity video iPods for those that enjoy watching David Caruso wince on CSI: Miami, iPod Nanos for jewelry and compressed music lovers and the iPod Shuffle for random players who lost the bolo piece from their bolo tie. The iPod family members all have distinct hardware bonuses and shortcomings that complement each other. So the iPhone isn’t really widescreen, does this leave the possibility open that a new device will fill our widescreen video needs? Will iPhone customers become frustrated while they watch 300 in a thin strip of a 2.40:1 letterbox?
Could Apple’s strategy be to introduce the iPhone’s new on screen dual touch, storage and display technologies to refine them over time and once popular reduce their cost to meet a true widescreen video iPod? Imagine a 16×9 screen dominating the gadget’s full front face, all AV controls on the dual touch screen for the same price as today’s 80 GB iPod. Like a large storage Sony PSP without the D-Pad and buttons (oh, and games, have to remember the PSP plays games).
Maybe all the dual touch patent rumor mock ups were right, we just have to wait for the iPhone to become a commodity and piss off enough videophiles to introduce the true widescreen video iPod. Though I’m sure true videophiles would prefer a 2.35:1 aspect, constant height screen with little velvet curtains on the sides to aid contrast when windowboxing squarer ratios (as mocked up above). Introducing the cinePod (as in Cinescope). Heh.