Source: Apple. 

According to (via BGR), Apple's (NASDAQ:AAPL) next generation iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus devices will see substantial upgrades in display resolution. The 6s is said to include a 1920-by-1080 display, representing a sizable increase in resolution from the 1334-by-750 display currently found on the standard iPhone 6.

The iPhone 6s Plus is rumored to include a "2K" display. Given that today's iPhone 6 renders images at 2208-by-1242 downscaled to 1920-by-1080, this doesn't immediately fail the common sense test.

That said, while more pixels would be interesting, I'm not convinced that Apple will actually deliver such resolution increases with its new iPhones this time around. Here's why.

That's generally not how Apple rolls
In the table below, I show the display resolutions of Apple's iPhones going back to the original iPhone:





iPhone 3G


iPhone 3GS


iPhone 4


iPhone 4s


iPhone 5


iPhone 5s


iPhone 6


iPhone 6 Plus


Source: Apple.

Notice that, historically, Apple has always used the same display resolution for a given product line for at least two generations. I suspect that Apple does this because costs of a given display come down over time, which gives Apple some headroom in the bill of materials for its 's' line of phones to add additional features while keeping margins robust.

Based on a number of rumors from reputable sources, such as KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, the next iPhones will be filled to the brim with additional features such as Force Touch, an improved Touch ID, faster processor, more memory, improved camera sensor, and even a stronger aluminum casing.

Adding significantly higher resolution displays, unless Apple can get a really good deal on them, might just be too much to add in one shot while keeping margins at acceptable levels.

Ming-Chi Kuo says no display resolution change is coming
Furthermore, Kuo, whom I believe to be very reputable in predicting the specifications of next generation iPhones, has outright said that the new iPhones won't feature upgraded display resolutions.

Now, Kuo -- back in April 2014 -- accurately predicted the display sizes and resolutions of the iPhone 6/6 Plus. Kuo also nailed the iPhone 5 display resolution back in June 2012. So, when it comes down to Kuo's word against, well, pretty much any other source on the Web with respect to unreleased Apple hardware, I'm inclined to believe Kuo.

Does Apple need higher resolution displays at this point?
As an Apple customer, I'm always for getting more features; if Apple can give me a higher resolution and higher quality display, then that's just yet another reason for me to upgrade to a next generation iPhone. However, as I said above, Apple needs to be very prudent about the features it brings to each generation of iPhone as higher resolution, high quality displays certainly add cost.

I think the feature-set that Apple is rumored to be bringing to the next generation iPhones is compelling enough for Apple to forgo a display upgrade this time around.

It's probably not happening this time around
Although we won't know for sure until Apple formally unveils its next generation iPhones, I think that Apple will -- as Kuo predicts -- stick with the same displays that are currently found on the iPhone 6/6 Plus in the iPhone 6s/6s Plus, respectively.

When the iPhone 7 rolls around, then I expect Apple to deliver big display upgrades for both the 4.7-inch and the 5.5-inch models. I expect a significant improvement in display performance (better colors, contrast ratios, and so on) in addition to higher display resolutions. In fact the resolutions that the author on claims could show up on the iPhone 6s/6s Plus seem to be right in the ballpark of what I would expect in the iPhone 7.