Apple has filed for a patent (number 202200111822) that hints at previous rumors that the company is at least considering a curved iPhone with a wraparound display. This is a DIFFERENT rumor than the one for a foldable iPhone.
The Sellers Research Group (that’s me) thinks Apple is more likely to release an “iPhone Curve” than an “iPhone Fold.”
About the patent filing
The patent filing is dubbed “electronic device with wrap around display.” It’s designed to expand “the functionality of portable electronics devices by providing a more efficient mechanism for presenting visual content is disclosed.
Apple notes that in the last few years the functionality of portable electronic devices has increased exponentially. Further improvements be realized by investigating ways to maximize the utility of unused portions of these devices.
Apple says that form factor is an “interesting area” for development given that a large majority of portable electronic devices have settled into a standard form factor. The tech giant adds 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.”
Summary of the patent filing
Here’s Apple’s abstract of the patent filing: “A consumer electronic product includes at least a transparent housing and a flexible display assembly enclosed within the transparent housing. In the described embodiment, the flexible display assembly is configured to present visual content at any portion of the transparent housing.”
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