Apple as a company has always wowed the world. It manufactures a lot of things like personal computers, smartphones, wearables, accessories, etc.
However, it relies heavily on its iPhones when it comes to their roaring financial success. Unlike Android, iOS ecosystem seems a bit enclosed and esoteric to developers and consumers alike.
Despite that, iPhones have a huge mass appeal and are quite popular across the globe.
When it comes to mobile app designing, development, marketing, etc., for iPhones, one must adhere to the specifications, guidelines, etc., that are unique to Apple and its products.
Today, we are here to help you cover one aspect of it. We have compiled a screen size and resolution guide for iPhones.
Having this information will help you make better design, development, and marketing decisions. So, let’s begin!
Why is understanding phone screen size & resolution so important?
Ever uploaded an image on social media that looked fine on Facebook but got partly hidden on Twitter feed and cropped on Instagram?
Have you ever landed on a blog or video that had truncated text or image?
If you have answered either of the questions with a “Yes”, then you must already know about the importance of perfectly sized and customized media, text, screen designs, etc.
When developing mobile apps or content for smartphones, understanding phone screen sizes and resolution becomes even more important.
Before we start discussing iPhone screens in particular, let us cover this aspect.
Importance in app design and development
Understanding screen sizes, resolution, etc., is absolutely important for app designing and development.
It can help you in the following ways:
- Stay aligned with design and development specifications
- Remain in adherence to the app submission guidelines
- Define your UI and UX goals and ensure design consistency
- Give the right visual weight and balance to the design elements
- Enrich and ease user-experiences with the right design decisions
- Adapt to different device type, screen type, operating system, etc.
Importance in marketing and advertisement
Understanding the nuances of phone screens is not just important for developers.
It is also critical for marketers who want to serve impressive, inspiring, and user-friendly content to their audiences.
It can help marketers and advertisers of the mobile phone industry achieve the following:
- Segment audience based on technographics (device type, screen type, etc.)
- Design the right app store screenshots and preview videos
- Create adaptable and customized banners, creatives, videos, etc.
- Select the right design schematics, typography, etc., for ad creatives
- Determine the suitable word and content density for different screens
- Ensure content viewability and make it more interactive
Statistics show that the size of screen can determine cart abandonments and users are likely to abandon more carts on devices with smaller screens.
Clearly, understanding phone screen sizes and resolution is important for all the reasons listed above and more than that.
This becomes especially important for iOS devices and iPhones as there are universal in their appeal and unlike Android, do not have a scattered and heterogenous market.
Some related terms that you should be aware of
Before we start discussing the iPhone screen sizes, resolutions, etc., let us first know about the terms that determine these specifications.
Screen size is the physical measurement of the screen usually denoted in inches.
Screen size measurements for smartphones are taken by measuring diagonally from the upper left-hand corner of the screen to the lower right-hand corner.
Pixel is a portmanteau of the two words “picture” and “element”. It is the smallest visible color unit on a display screen.
These colored pixels are comprised of associated red, green, and blue subpixels. In fact, all digital images are actually made up of large number of individual pixels.
When we say that an element (Example: Font) is 12 px or 12 pixels in height, it means that the element takes up 12 pixels on the screen from top to bottom. The same goes for width.
Therefore, the next time you spot a specification that reads AxB pixels (where A and B are numerical values), remember that it signifies the height and width of the pixels.
Units like millimeters and inches are suitable for measuring physical items but not in the digital space.
Thus, we use points as a size measurement unit. In simple terms, one point (pt) is equal to 0.352778 millimeters, 0.0138889 inches, or 1.333 pixels.
Pixels Per Inch (PPI)
PPI is the quantity of pixels (or dots in the case of DPI which is used in print) that can be placed in a line across one linear inch.
A screen with a high number of PPI will show more detailed visuals and the image will be less pixelated or distorted.
The display resolution is the number of distinct pixels in each dimension that can be displayed on the screen. The standard display resolution sizes include:
- High Definition (HD): 1280 x 720 pixels
- Full HD (FHD): 1920 x 1080 pixels
- 2K or Quad HD (QHD): 2560 x 1440 pixels
- 4K or Ultra HD: 3840 x 2160 pixels
(Note: The physical size of the screen has nothing to do with its resolution. Phones with smaller screens can also have a sharp picture quality and i.e., a high resolution.)
iPhone screen resolutions and sizes: An easy guide
The evolution of iPhone screen sizes is not a mystery. Just like Android smartphones, iPhones come in various screen sizes and the size of display screens has grown bigger.
Mobile phone users have the “large screen, small device” paradox. We want elaborate displays on compact and portable devices and this choice has affected the screen design trends.
iPhone’s evolution seems to be adhering to a similar tendency. Let us go through an iPhone screen size comparison and understand better.
Evolution of screen sizes in iPhones
Based on screen size, iPhones can be grouped into the following segments:
- 3.5 inches: iPhone 4S (2011), iPhone 4 (2010), iPhone 3GS (2009), iPhone 3G (2008), iPhone 2G (2007)
- 4 inches: iPhone SE (2016), iPhone 5S (2013), iPhone 5C (2013), iPhone 5 (2012)
- 4.7 inches: iPhone 8 (2017), iPhone 7 (2016), iPhone 6S (2015), iPhone 6+ (2014), iPhone 6 (2014)
- 5.4 inches: iPhone 13 Mini (2021), iPhone 12 Mini (2020)
- 5.5 inches: iPhone 8+ (2017), iPhone 7+ (2016), iPhone 6S+ (2015)
- 5.8 inches: iPhone 11 Pro (2019), iPhone XS (2018), iPhone X (2017)
- 6.06 inches: iPhone 13 (2021), iPhone 13 Pro (2021)
- 6.1 inches: iPhone 12 Pro (2020), iPhone 12 (2020), iPhone 11 (2019), iPhone XR (2018)
- 6.5 inches: iPhone 11 Pro Max (2019), iPhone XS Max (2018)
- 6.68 inches: iPhone 13 Pro Max (2021)
- 6.7 inches: iPhone 12 Pro Max (2020)
Just by going through the list above, you can determine the screen size of your target audience. If you are going for users with latest iPhone models, you must design for bigger screens and higher resolutions (discussed below).
Just by going through the list above, you can determine the screen size of your target audience if you are going for users with latest iPhone models.
You can go through the table on twentyeightb’s page and also get the specifics for iPads if you audience includes people with tablets.
Classification of iPhones based on resolution
Apart from screen size, iPhones can also be classified based on the physical resolution. This includes the following groups of devices that are still active:
- 2340 x 1080 pixels: iPhone 13 Mini (2021), iPhone 12 mini (2020), iPhone 12 mini (2020)
- 2532 x 1170 pixels: iPhone 13 (2021), iPhone 13 Pro (2021), iPhone 12 pro (2020), iPhone 12 (2020)
- 2778 x 1284 pixels: iPhone 13 Pro Max (2021), iPhone 12 pro max (2020)
- 2688 x 1242 pixels: iPhone 11 Pro Max (2019), iPhone XS Max (2018)
- 2436 x 1125 pixels: iPhone 11 Pro (2019), iPhone XS (2018)
- 1792 x 828 pixels: iPhone 11 (2019), iPhone XR (2018)
(The above resolutions are represented in landscape mode. For portrait, you can just reverse the two numbers. Example: 2340 x 1080 becomes 1080 x 2340)
Apart from the ones listed above, iPhone also had devices with screen resolutions as low as 1136 x 640 pixels, that was a standard at one point in time. However, devices like iPhone 5S and iPhone SE, corresponding to this specification, are now no longer prevalent in use.
App Store Screenshot requirements for iOS submission
Once the app is developed and built, the next step is to submit it to the app stores.
For submitting an iOS app, you will need to add some screenshots from within the app.
The Apple App Store has specified exact screenshot sizes for its different devices. Here are the mandatory size requirements for submitting app screenshots for the iOS app.
Here, you need to note that 6.5 inch and 5.5 inches are the most important display sizes for iPhones and Apple wants you to prioritize them.
If you do not want to go through the pain of submitting screenshots for all the sizes listed above, then just create for these two screen sizes based on the specifications above.
Apple will automatically resize your screenshot as long as you have the screenshots for 6.5 and 5.5 inch.
This is a standard practice followed by most developers.
Additionally, you must remember that while you must upload a minimum of 4 screenshots, the maximum limit is that of 10 screenshots for each app listing.
You can go through our blog suggested below and know more about it.
Suggested Read: How to design the App Store Screenshots of your mobile app
How to make your app look good on all iPhone screens?
The answer is simple: Follow Apple’s guides.
Apple recommends creating universal designs and using Xcode for creating a storyboard before launching an app. It has full fledged guides on creating app designs that adapt across devices and screens.
However, if you want an easy and effective way out, you can also create the app with no-code DIY app creators that come with pre-defined environment.
Here, you can create apps for all kinds of iOS users. As a bonus, some may also enable you to test your apps’ designs and features for different iOS device types before you pay to publish.
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