Apple has been granted another patent (number 9,983630) for an electronic device with a wraparound display. The most likely candidate for such a device is, of course, the iPhone, but it could also apply, at least in part, to Macs and iPads.
In the patent filing, Apple says it’s investigating ways to maximize the utility of unused portions of electronic devices. Currently, most gadgets have settled into a standard form factor; a flat planar form factor with a display on one side and an opaque housing which contains the electrical components covering the rear surface of the device.
Apple says that, unfortunately, this popular form factor leaves the sides and rear surfaces of the device unused or at best configured with buttons and switches with fixed location and functionality. Since many of these buttons and switches have fixed functionality they can’t always be incorporated into third party applications. Apple says there’s a need for an improved form factor for portable electronic devices which allows functionality to extend to more than one surface of the device. The company has been granted other patents for a wraparound display, including patent number 9,921,608, 20160021227, 9,367,093, and 9,367,095.
Of course, Apple files for — and is granted — lots of patents by the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office. Many are for inventions that never see the light of day. However, you never can tell which ones will materialize in a real product.
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