Apple is expected to unveil up to two larger iPhones this year. And while rumors of a bigger, slimmer iPhone are nothing new, 9to5Mac claims to know the precise resolution that Apple has been testing on "at least one next-generation" model. The iPhone 6 will reportedly run at a sharper 1704 x 960 resolution, compared to the 1136 x 640 currently seen in the 4-inch iPhone 5S and 5C. This would be Apple's answer to the 1080p displays that have become the norm on high-end Android smartphones. Some manufacturers like LG are already looking to trump Full HD with even higher-res screens.

A bigger resolution for bigger phones

The company isn't expected to radically alter the user interface of iOS 8, so this change may result in larger, sharper icons on the home screen and throughout the operating system. And much like the original transition to Retina displays, some apps may not look great on upcoming iPhones if developers fail to deliver timely updates. Since the 16:9 aspect ratio isn't changing, you won't have to deal with ugly black bars — a common sight after the iPhone 5's release. 9to5Mac says apps will automatically scale to fill the whole screen, but certain graphics may appear blurry on the higher-res display if they haven't been optimized.

It's believed the company's next phones will come in two sizes: 4.7 inches and 5.5 inches, with the latter clearly targeted at "phablets" like Samsung's Galaxy Note 3. The rumored resolution would lead to a pixel density of 416 ppi on the 4.7-inch hardware, dropping slightly to 356 ppi on the larger phone. Both of those fall comfortably within Apple's definition of a "Retina" display, where individual pixels are impossible to make out at normal distances. Whether or not Apple announces both products simultaneously or chooses to stagger the release schedule remains unclear. Assuming plans for two larger devices are accurate, some believe that Apple will first unveil a 4.7-inch iPhone 6 in August, a bit sooner than its normal September timeframe.

You won't see black bars, but apps will still require quick updates

But an even bigger iPhone could wind up filling that September slot, giving Apple two new flagship handsets to carry into the fall and holiday seasons. We expect to hear more about iOS 8 at WWDC next month. The odds of a new iPhone being unveiled there are significantly lower. So if Apple holds back new product announcements, it's doubtful the company will even discuss this increased resolution. Historically, Apple has never shared plans like these before unveiling the products that will showcase them.