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Apple patent reveals futuristic iPhone with wrap-around AMOLED display

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April 2, 2013

The patent reveals Apple's vision of the iPhone's future

The patent reveals Apple's vision of the iPhone's future

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A new release by the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) might just provide a glimpse of the future of Apple's popular iPhone handset. The filing details an “electronic device with wrap around display” and includes a number interesting design features, paramount among which is its curved display and transparent housing.

The product detailed in the patent features a flexible AMOLED display “rolled up” and placed inside a conical transparent enclosure. The display, which wraps around the entirety of the device, would provide the user with significantly more screen real estate than that found on current smartphones and tablets. The drawings provided with the filing show several variants of the design, some of which appear more workable than others.

Several form factors are shown in the patent

Though it represents a significant evolution of the now familiar touchscreen form factor, a display that covers both sides of the device brings up its own problems, first of which is the placement of the end user. To solve this problem, the handset would feature camera-based facial recognition technology to ensure that the visual content is displayed only in the user's field of vision.

Some of the embodiments show the significant aesthetic benefits of the curved form factor, but it's worth noting that the handset is unlikely to be entirely transparent, with the processor and other unsightly internals residing in a masked area of the glass enclosure. Even so, the innovative and clean design is certainly appealing, and seems to speak to Apple's penchant for simplicity.

Further to this, the futuristic smartphone would feature no physical buttons, with actions such as unlocking being achieved through gestures, such as running a finger along the side of the device.

Though it's very unlikely that we'll see this device any time soon, flexible display technology isn't particularly new, with Samsung revealing its flexible AMOLED displays back at CES 2011. Last year, Corning also unveiled a thin and flexible version of its protective Gorilla Glass technology, known as Willow Glass, that would help make concepts such as this a reality.

Source: USPTO

About the Author
Chris Wood Chris specializes in mobile technology for Gizmag, but also likes to dabble in the latest gaming gadgets. He has a degree in Politics and Ancient History from the University of Exeter, and lives in Gloucestershire, UK. In his spare time you might find him playing music, following a variety of sports or binge watching Game of Thrones.   All articles by Chris Wood
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7 Comments

As it the current display form factor isn't vulnerable enough to everyday abuses, now we have to fend off greasy finger prints, abrasive surfaces and moisture from all sides. To top it off, the scree retract now introduces moving parts to the equation. I miss my clam shell.

sk8dad
2nd April, 2013 @ 01:37 pm PDT

I saw a concept video a quite a while ago that had a design exactly like this. Apparently apple reads the same blogs I do!

Cyberxbx
2nd April, 2013 @ 03:29 pm PDT

Sorry, but if they have no working prototype then they shouldn't be granted a patent.

mikejay
2nd April, 2013 @ 05:16 pm PDT

A curved surface that covers the entire device, so outdoors in the Australian daylight it is guaranteed to catch glare. And, if it has a wrap around touch surface how do you hold it without making unintentional swipes, presses and other commands?

Womp
2nd April, 2013 @ 10:46 pm PDT

Patents don't require working prototypes.

Dekarate
3rd April, 2013 @ 08:38 am PDT

Pretty sure this one should get busted on prior art though - wrap around screens are decades old, and form factor does not constitute a patent-able idea for anyone sane. Sony already produced a portable device with a back-side input. But hey, if the patent office allows beveled edges why not?

All that aside, who even wants this? I mean, I can't see what's on the back of my smartphone screen, and I don't usually want someone else seeing my screen even as much as they do now. Or maybe it's just so that you have a second screen after the first breaks (which wouldn't be a problem if they swallowed their pride and talked to the nice people at Corning).

Charles Bosse
3rd April, 2013 @ 06:29 pm PDT

I have finally come to a conclusion that people manning the patents office in the US are genetically related to Dubya. How can they grant a patent to some sketch and concept that is not even on the far horizon? They should reject what is presented here if it utilises absolutely anything that is currently in existence.

pmshah
9th April, 2013 @ 12:59 am PDT
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