Future Apple Watches may sport a wraparound display hints a newly granted Apple patent (number 10,957,678) for a “display module and system applications.” Interestingly, the patent filing also mentions a TV set with a “rollable, flexible” display.
In the patent data, Apple says that flexible display modules can be incorporated into a variety of devices such as a smartwatch with a flexible display panel and flexible display module. In this manner, the display area of the smartwatch is not limited to a rigid watch face area.
For example, an Apple Watch could incorporate a flexible display panel integrated into a flexible watch band. The curvature of the flexible display panel in both the watch face area and band could be adjusted to conform to the wrist size of the user.
In the patent filing, Apple also mentions a flexible display panel that’s rollable and which could be incorporated into a television display that is rollable or foldable into and out of a housing. The flexible television display panel is coupled to a spool onto which the display panel is rollable or foldable.
For years, it was rumored that Apple was planning its own branded HDTV, but that never came to fruition. I doubt that the company is reconsidering this, but if it is, the product could be a high end, premium HDTV such as LG’s US$87,000 OLED R (pictured).
Here’s the summary of the patent filing: “A display module and system applications including a display module are described. The display module may include a display substrate including a front surface, a back surface, and a display area on the front surface.
A plurality of interconnects extend through the display substrate from the front surface to the back surface. An array of light emitting diodes (LEDs) are in the display area and electrically connected with the plurality of interconnects, and one or more driver circuits are on the back surface of the display substrate. Exemplary system applications include wearable, rollable, and foldable displays.”