APPLE HAS been granted a patent for a screen that will wrap around the front and back of what could be a future iPhone.
OK, Samsung fans, we know that the Korean company has had curvy screens on its smartphones since the Galaxy S6 Edge. But Apple’s patent filing, granted on 14 June, hints at the potential for a new-look iPhone sometime in the next few years.
Patent number 9,367,095 for an 'electronic device with wrap around display' describes the screen as a flexible display which "can be folded in such a way as to form a continuous loop such that images (still or video) can be presented in a wraparound manner in which the images appear to be presented in a continuous loop”.
Apple’s patent also casts some aspersions on traditional phone designs, as it claims that the flat displays found on most smartphones waste space and are used for buttons that cannot be programmed with third-party functionality.
To us that sounds a bit rich coming from Apple and its propensity for walled garden ecosystems, but we’ll let that slide for the moment.
If Apple is planning to create an iPhone with a full wraparound display it raises questions about how functional it will be if the back of the phone is touch-sensitive.
We reckon that such a device will keep the rear and sides of the phone as passive displays and touch enable the front and edges. But we’re not Jony Ive, so who knows what he will come up with?
The patent also suggests that a future iPhone could lose the home button found on nearly every iOS device since their inception. Instead of a hardware button, Apple could make use of software-based buttons akin to those on Android smartphones. This would require the Touch ID fingerprint scanner to be embedded into the display.
And then there's the problem of dropping a smartphone with a wraparound display. There would be a lot more glass to make a mess off if you’re butterfingered or have enjoyed Friday drinks with a little too much gusto.
Still, we’ll worry about such problems if and when Apple makes such an iPhone, as these patents usually hint at a design direction rather than a new concept.
And to be quite honest we’d be happy if Apple loaded its normal iPhones with a proper full HD or 2K resolution screen, something the iPhone 6S lacks but is present on handsets like the Samsung Galaxy S7. µ
'Some of us like the misery'
That'll surely affect its credit score