Apple Granted Patent for Flexible iPhone Displays
The patent, which Apple applied for in 2013, covers technology for flexible and curved displays for the company's products, including iPhones.Apple has been awarded a patent for a new flexible display technology that could bring wrap-around displays on Apple products of the future, including iPhones. The patent award was reported by PatentlyApple in a Sept. 29 report, based on patent applications filed with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. The patent covers "a transparent housing and a flexible display assembly enclosed within the transparent housing," according to the report. As it is designed, "the flexible display assembly is configured to present visual content at any portion of the transparent housing," which would allow substantial changes in the design of device screens seen today. Such a "wrap-around display substantially increases the available display area that can be used for display of icons, data, images, video and such," the article said. "Apple notes that utilizing a flexible display can provide additional viewing area without increasing either the size or shape of the electronic device. For example, a flexible display can be folded in such a way as to form a continuous loop such that images (still or video) can be presented in a wrap-around manner in which the images appear to be presented in a continuous loop." The new technology could mean that Apple could in the future bring side-mounted displays to its mobile devices, as seen on Samsung's Galaxy S6 Edge+ smartphones, according to a March eWEEK report about the Apple patent applications when the patent office was still reviewing them.
Apple's patent application perhaps takes the idea a bit further with the concept that the edges might also include virtual buttons, the article said.