iOS 5 reportedly supports full 1080p output playback for video files. While the iPhone 4 and iPad 2 don’t have 1080p displays, the ability to output 1080p video opens the door to a number of possibilities.
To be clear, and MacRumors explains this succinctly, iOS devices could previously output 1080p graphics for games and whatnot, though not straight video.
Apple’s iOS devices have supported 1080p output in some form for several generations, with the iPad 2 currently able to generate 1080p graphics and output at that resolution to external displays. The device can not, however, officially support 1080p video files under the iOS 4.x software. Other users have been able to demonstrate 1080p video output on the iPhone 4 and even the iPhone 3GS, but the high-resolution content has not been supported through iTunes and the iOS devices’ built-in video player from Apple.
That said, 9to5Mac chimes in:
In iOS 5, Apple is looking to change all that as 1080P video now syncs to the iPad 2 and is playable in the full 1080P format. Prior to iOS 5, iTunes would not even sync video of the 1080P quality. According to first hand accounts, playback is very smooth and looks great.
Does this mean that an Apple TV with full 1080p playback support is in the pipeline?