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Apple patent hints at crazy new iPhone with wraparound display

by Jacob Kleinman | January 21, 2016January 21, 2016 9:00 am PDT

Apple is expected to make the switch from LCD to flexible OLED by 2018 in time for the iPhone 8. Now a new patent reveals how the company might introduce a wraparound display on its future smartphones.

The patent, which was submitted last September and approved on Thursday, describes an “electronic device with a wrapped display.” Apple offers up multiple designs, ranging from a pretty regular looking flat slate to curvier options. There’s also a few far-out suggestions, including a perfect cylinder and even a three-sided triangular model.

No matter what shape the device takes, it would feature the same basic setup. That includes a flexible OLED display and a protective layer on top, with Apple suggesting sapphire as a possible material. It would pack a touch sensor inside, an accelerometer and a gyroscope, along with all the other hardware used to power your iPhone.

Apple also explores how this bizarre new form factor would affect its user interface. What happens if you start tilting the device or flip it over entirely? The company has a few ideas on how its software would react.

Of course this is just a patent, and Apple’s actual plans probably aren’t as extreme as the images above. Still, it’s interesting to see some of the ideas the company is considering as it allegedly prepares to make the switch to flexible OLED displays in a few short years.


Jacob Kleinman

Jacob Kleinman has been working as a journalist online and in print since he arrived at Wesleyan University in 2007. After graduating, he took a...