A video comparison of the new iPhone’s touch panel and the iPhone 4S shows a clear difference in size, particularly on the vertical. According to the footage released by Japan’s Macotakara, the next-generation iPhone will be at least 1 centimeter (0.3 inches) taller.
The front panel covering the iPhone’s display is known as the “digitizer”, a touch-sensitive surface that records all your touch gestures and sends them to iOS for interpretation.
It’s by no means just a protective plate, though Apple is trying to make it as such by employing Gorilla Glass. This year’s iPhone is said to sport the second-generation of this chemically-hardened glass.
And it looks like this Japanese blog has managed to obtain one from Apple’s suppliers. They recorded a video showing the difference in size between the new part and a current-generation iPhone.
Going by the footage, Apple’s next-generation smartphone will be at least 1 centimeter taller than the current-selling device, including the iPhone 4.
We’ve theorized in the past that Apple would most likely need to make the iPhone 5 taller, should the company decide on a 4-inch (or bigger screen).
There are several technical reasons that back this theory. For example, users still require a resting place for their thumb when they hold the iPhone with one hand in portrait mode. Trying to hit the home button on a narrower area would create a cumbersome experience. Apple knew that, so they kept the unused surfaces around the Home button, but made the device taller, to accommodate the bigger screen.
Another reason is, of course, the much needed extra space for a longer-lasting battery and extra radios (LTE). Other enhancements that we probably can’t even guess could also require the extra volume.