Flat glass panels are so 2011! That’s at least what smartphone manufacturers are thinking, according to this article from DigiTimes. It appears that the new trend among smartphone makers is going to be curved glass.

As usual, Apple is ahead of its game as the company reportedly invested in glass-cutting machines earlier this year to equip its reluctant assemblers to invest in this new and unproven technology…

“Curved cover glass may be the next big thing in terms of handheld device designs as both Apple and the non-Apple camp are reportedly gearing up for the releases of products with curved touchscreens in the first half 2012, according to industry sources.

Suppliers of the non-Apple camp are working on products with curved cover glass in attempts to gain a competitive edge in the handheld device market dominated by Apple, sources in the glass industry said.”

Curious what curved glass would look like? Have a look at this older iPod Nano.

The benefits of curved glass are somewhat neglectable. Apart from the aesthetic advantage it gives to the device, the only other benefit might just be that it would feel better in your pocket.

Expect future devices to have a more rounded shape. If not Apple, other manufacturers will most likely adopt this new engineered design.

  • Bill

    I have the concave curved gorilla glass screen on my Sensation and I have to say that I really love it. Feels better when I’m using it, feels better in my pocket and grabbing it, and protects it a lot more if you ever lay it face down on a surface. I’m glad Apple, htc, and other companies are heading towards that. It is really nice and will benefit all.

  • Pepper

    I’m a little confused, do we expect devices to have rounded glass even though their are few benefits? Doesn’t make a lot of sense to spend money/time on changing the glass if the current design is as good as the alternatives. Any ideas?

    • A better looking device is a huge benefit to me. But I agree that in the grand scheme of things, curved glass is not going to be a ground breaking technology.

    • Daniel

      Maybe it’s curved glass for the back of the phone and not necessarily the display

  • Greg

    Curve glass.. That’s so 90’s

    My old CRT had a curved glass screen. Then came flat screen. Seems like were going backwards here tbh

    • Bill

      heh, yes but those CRT’s were convex. I prefer the concave screens. – )

  • I hope not 🙁
    I can’t see how this pointless idea can improve and device apple or non apple

  • The Nexus S has a curved glass and uses it to great effect. It curves to the shape of your skull, not to mention it makes holding it more comfortable.

    Also, Apple isn’t ahead. Other companies are already doing this, such as HTC and the Nexus S, as stated above.

    • Bill

      Exactly.

  • Jj

    G2x has somewhat curved glass