Why the iPad Mini may go 16:9, like the iPhone 5

Why the iPad Mini may go 16:9, like the iPhone 5

Summary: The new iPad mini, which could debut as soon as this month, may mark a departure from the 4:3 display in its larger cousin. The latest hardware mockup of the iPad mini show it with a 16:9 screen -- much like the iPhone 5.

TOPICS: Apple, iPad
Why the iPad Mini will have an HD screen - Jason O'Grady

Assuming the photos and measurements recently posted at nowhereelse.fr (English translation) of a physical model of the iPad Mini from GizChina turn out to be real, the iPad mini won't have a 4:3 display like the full-size iPad.

DisplayMate's Dr. Raymond Soneira notes that Apple increased the iPhone's aspect ratio -- from 1.50 in the iPhone 4 to 1.78 in the iPhone 5 -- and concludes that the same thing could happen with the iPad Mini, especially if it is positioned for selling TV content, which has 16:9.

Soneira notes that 4:3 aspect ratio screens are great for reading because they have the same aspect ratio as content on 8.5 x 11-inch documents, but that smaller 7 to 8-inch screens with 4:3 aspect ratios will be noticeably letterboxed with 16:9 content, with reduced image size.

Keeping the 768 pixel height in the iPad mini will allow apps written for 1024 x 768 to be displayed with letterbox borders as they are on the iPhone 5. Based on this, Soneira thinks that there are four possible resolutions for the iPad mini, with 1152 x 768 being the most likely:

  • 1024 x 768 is 4:3 = 1.33
  • 1152 x 768 is 3:2 = 1.50 
  • 1228 x 768 is 16:10 = 1.60
  • 1366 x 768 is 16:9 = 1.78

If you think about it, a 4:3 iPad Mini really doesn't make very good sense. This might even tie in with Steve Jobs' original objections to a smaller size. But for consuming content, which is how Google and Amazon are marketing their 7 inch Tablets, and how Apple will most likely market theirs as well, something closer to 16:9 makes a lot more sense...

The oft-rumored, 7.85-inch screen "mini" iPad is rumored to go on sales in early November -- November 2 to be exact. Fortune's Philip Elmer-DeWitt reports that invitations for the Apple event are going out on October 10 for an event on October 17.

Topics: Apple, iPad

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  • 1152 x 768 is 3:3?

    Isn't 1152 x 768 4.5:3 (or 9:6), not 3:3?
    Fred Fredrickson
    • one shouldnt expect good math skills

      from an Apple fan
    • Re

      Since it is actually 3:2 (9:6 and 4.5:3 are correct as well but sounds a little awkward in my opinion) I think we can just call it a typo^^
  • Since When Did "HD" Mean "Widescreen"?

    And would Apple really slavishly copy Android to this extent?
    • Duly noted

      "Widescreen" (or more accurately 16:9) and HD are not the same and I've updated my post appropriately.

      - Jason
      Jason D. O'Grady
      • Re: Duly noted

        Thank you. :-)
  • Unconvinced

    Not by the idea of the iPad Mini, more by its existence. Everyone knew the iPhone 5 was coming because everybody saw the months and months of (for once) mostly accurate leaks. But this? There have been rumours for a while. This is as close as I've seen to semi-convincing evidence. But it doesn't mean that Apple are bringing it out, just that they might be.

    Either Apple has become a very leaky company since Cook took over, or this is a new marketing campaign - let the bloggers build up the frenzy, we'll just sit back and watch!
    • Leaks

      The lack of a single hardware or 3rd party accessory leak is what makes me most skeptical, too... especially considering that you oculd practically have assembled a working iPhone 5 from all the parts that were leaked in the mnoths leading up to its official announcement.
  • The iPhone 5 is not HD

  • iPhone5 not HD

    Wait...the iPhone5 isn't HD. Since when does 1,136 x 640=HD?

    That said...I could see the iPad Mini doing actual HD but why stop short of full 1080p? Unless of course Apple thinks they can just wait for that one too...these incremental updates are getting out of hand with them.
  • iPad mini

    Why would anyone want an iPad mini? If you are looking for a toy then you should buy a kindle or on of the other tablets. You have your choice of iPad and iPod if you need different sizes. A third size would be rediculous.
    • Preciely

      Why should ayone find any value in a size that you do not?
    • Because of it's size and price, that's why...b.

      Because that size is appealing for it's potential price point & reading. Amazon Fire, B&N Nook, Nexus...Once apple comes out with this, they will eat the market for this size too (providing they price the lowest memory module @ $199 or $249 (but I suspect $299 will be the offering point; which case they won't eat as much of it up as they could)....
      • Re: Because of it's size and price, that's why...b.

        Funny, that was just as true when Steve Jobs was alive as now. Yet Jobs famously put down 7-inchers as incapable of supplying the full tablet experience.

        So what has really changed? Answer: the Nexus 7.
  • More than just movie functionality

    A 7" tablet using a 16:9 ration fits into a jacket pocket fairly easily. A 4:3 tablet will not.
  • Doesn't anyone notice

    Doesn't anyone notice the color difference on the bezel between the iPad on the left and the fake iPad mini?
    7" iPad? - who knows, but THIS is in no way an Apple product. There are also differences in the highlight/shadow on the home-buttons and the shadow hitting the table.

    This picture is a fake, and a bad one at that! Wake up!
    Kjetil Hansen
  • usless topic

    is this topic to publish? bullshit
  • 7 inch 3:4 tablet?

    Nobody makes a 3:4 7 inch tablet and very few make a 3:4 10 inch tablet. The 1024x600 resolution has been common with the nexus 7 and Kindle HD 7 moving up to 1280x800.
    Old EE
  • absolutely no way it will be 16 9

    The biggest draw of the mini will be the existing iPad software. Going letter-boxed would make the UI of exiting iPad software too small to be usable. There is really no choice. 7.85" is as small as you can possibly shrink an iPad app in a 4/3 format. Plus just looking at an extra small letter-boxed iPad apps would look ridiculously stupid - especially for a first generation product that needs to make an impression.