iPhone HD – more hi-res evidence emerges


While other not so unknown companies scream that their mobile device is compliant with the dreaded two-letters, could there hidden depths to what the recently acclaimed “Jesus” phone can do? A rumour, that has been started on the other side of the globe in a small and insignificant (sic) country called China (original forum post translated link), is enough to rattle the brains of any iPhone follower and start questioning their faith in whether Apple really knows what they’re doing. Even more so if the rumor proves to be true. It appears that the iPhone 4G may come in 960*640 resolution, a number which works out to quadruple the resolution of the current 3GS.

Though the Chinese get all the credit, we reported that the 3GS is capable of HD playback in July via the file tranfer app, AirSharing 😉

According to the Apple iPhone 3GS technical specs, the most the device can handle is silly old “H.264 video, up to 1.5 Mbps, 640 by 480 pixels, 30 frames per second”. But is that all? Well, as it turns out, the iPhone is a device really ahead of its time and if we find a way around the artificial Apple limitations the phone is fully capable of up to 30Mbps 1080p playback, say by using the free FileAid app.

TouchMyApps covered Hi-Res playback back in early July thanks to puercaeli and now, our claim has recently been backed up by the tech guys at endgadget.com who did their own testing as soon as they got wind of the “news” out of China. Here’s what they found:

We tested out a bunch of HD trailers from Apple’s QuickTime trailer site, some videos we shot with a Lumix DMC-GH1 and some other random videos with general success, but there were some major hiccups: high bitrate 720p video off the GH1 stuttered during playback, and loading the Avatar trailer consistently crashed the phone’s audio driver until we restarted. We tried the same thing on an iPhone 3G and just got error messages at almost every resolution.

So it seems the latest phone from Apple is still full of surprises. It’s not exactly clear why the gods at Apple have decided to keep this under wraps for now (remember my conspiracy theory), but since the playback is still not flawless possibly they want to tweak it a bit more before going forward (maybe in 3.1?). After all, we had to wait for 2 years for simple copy/paste. Then again, there is the question whether HD in the iPhone is really necessary. The native resolution is only 480 by 320, making HD indistinguishable from the  native resolution videos. The current crop of AV-out cables for the phone really mash up the signal so much that you won’t be able to notice any difference in quality even if you tried really hard. Technically, the iPhone dock connector should allow the creation of HDMI cables, but for now, none of them exist, at least to my knowledge. So to wrap this up, I want to say, Apple, keep on with the surprises!

A project manager in a major telecommunications supplier, an iPhone junkie and lately - a TMA editor. Love long walks on the beach and my wife, who is the most beautiful girl on the face of this planet. You can also follow me on twitter for all things iPhone and project management (and some personal stuff as well): http://twitter.com/ChiffaNe

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