Nokia Lumia 1320

We’ve been hearing a lot lately about jumbo-sized iPhones, but the iPhablet meme is so passé now. So how about a curved-screen iPhone? I’m not talking about a Galaxy Round type of device – according to a new Bloomberg report, a large-screen iPhone featuring a flat screen with the cover glass “that curves downward at the edges” is in the works.

This sounds a lot like the Lumia range as the high-end Nokia devices sport slightly curved screen edges. Note that this is the first time we’ve heard the curved-screen iPhone being mentioned by a major big media publication. The Bloomberg article also mentions two large-screen models planned for release in the second half of next year and a new pressure-sensitive screen technology. Jump past the fold for the full reveal…

Bloomberg has the scoop, via 9to5Mac.

Two models planned for release in the second half of next year will feature larger displays with glass that curves downward at the edges, said the person, declining to be identified as the details aren’t public.

The new iPhones will be Apple’s largest at screens of 4.7 and 5.5 inches, the person said, approaching in size the 5.7-inch Galaxy Note 3 that Samsung Electronics Co. debuted in September.

The benefits of curved-glass designs are somewhat negligible. 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.

Again, this doesn’t sound like the Galaxy Round at all (pictured below) so I’m guessing the Bloomberg article is actually referring to a screen design pioneered by Nokia’s Lumia range (pictured top of post: the Lumia 1320) which calls for a flat screen that has downwardly curved edges.

Galaxy Round (image 001)

Additionally, Bloomberg asserts that Apple is developing sensors which can “distinguish heavy or light touches,” but cautions that the technology “may be incorporated into subsequent models”, according to people familiar with the matter.

Testing continues on the pressure-sensitive technology, which is unlikely to be ready for the next iPhone release and is instead planned for a later model, the person said.

In August 2012 Network World cited deposition by Apple’s designer Christopher Stringer who said one of the original iPhone prototypes included one sporting a shaped glass. Apple seriously considered building it, but eventually scrapped the design because it “cost a lot” to cut shaped glass:

 The technology at the time had a lot to do with it. The qualities of the glass at the time had a lot to do with it. These are models – I’m trying to remember a time frame – that were before gorilla glass and before a lot of the other factors.

The technology in shaping the glass, the cost relative to shaping the glass at the time, and some of the design features of this specific shape were not liked.

The not-so-reliable DigiTimes in September 2011 claimed Apple had invested in glass-cutting machines because “curved cover glass may be the next big thing in terms of handheld device designs”. Conveniently, Apple is now investing more than half a billion dollars in GT Advanced’s sophisticated furnaces to build sapphire cover glass for new products at an upcoming production facility in Mesa, Arizona.

Also worth pointing out: the New York Times in December 2011 wrote Apple had been experimenting with various curved designs, including “a curved-glass iPod that would wrap around the wrist”.

Bloomberg back in February reported that Apple was developing a curved-screen wearable device powered by iOS with fitness and health sensors.

Fittingly, Apple has a flexible battery technology supporting curved enclosures.

What do you make of this?

Is Apple going to abandon the four-inch form factor next year and instead adopt the rumored 4.7 and 5.5-inch iPhones as the new gold standard? Maybe they’ll keep the four-inch design while appealing to phablet lovers with larger, curved-screen iPhones?

  • Bob

    Yeah, Apple releasing curved jumbo phones, seems legit :/

    • Σαλαη αββας

      Just one question , how watching vids on a curved screen would be like ?

      • Glorin

        relax dude, Apple won’t bring you a loop display. Analysts are clueless.

      • Σαλαη αββας

        I’m relaxed , I don’t give a fu** if it’s curved , but I really need to know how will it be watching a vid on that thing ?

      • Glorin

        IT WILL BE FLAT YOU IDIOT.. THE ONLY CURVED THING WILL BE THE EDGES WERE THE VIDEO WON’T BE.

      • Σαλαη αββας

        Nique ta mère

      • Glorin

        ..to spisi sou malaka, orimase vlameno

      • Nipasaurus

        I would imagine that it would be difficult to notice the difference. Especially after you’re 10-15 seconds into a video.

    • AndroidDogHeatandSteelersFan

      Those nokia patent leaks cause other phone manufacturers to copy Apple, they abandoned curved displays after is my prediction because of baloney cost.

  • Mathi_11

    We don’t need jumbo and we don’t need curved.

    • NSA

      But 4 inch is too small.

      • eXoguti093

        If you know what I mean

  • perri_dash

    Although I don’t wish to have a larger iphone screen I could understand why some people do, but a curved screen? I can’t begin to understand why this is a category anyone has interest in.

  • Maxim∑

    This was an iPhone 6 prototype. Has a similar design to the iPad nano’s. Looks pretty real

    • mehrab

      Way too ugly for an iphone

      • Maxim∑

        again prototype

    • Jonathan

      Where’d you get/find this? And who took it?

  • Chris Barnett

    I think Bloomberg just declares all possibilities so they can say they were right later.

    • Nate McKelvie

      Hahaha

  • Zorvage

    Please, let this be false. 4.5inch in the MAX for me

    • n0ahcruz3

      This^.. 5″+ iphone, apple would have to discontinue the ipad mini.

      • Rowan09

        I was thinking the same thing but not necessarily since the iPad mini is basically an 8 inch tablet. If Samsung can do with with the 7″ note and still survive I don’t think it will be an issue.

    • R4

      Yeah anything larger than that would be ridiculous. Anyway this is Apple we’Dr talking about. That article is BS.

  • ɑղժɾҽա

    4.8/4.99″ is the sweet spot for me.

  • Yunik

    I need jumbo but what is the use of curved

  • R4

    This is just ridiculous. What use is a curved phone??? Apple won’t do something stupid like that. Bloomberg is full of BS.

    • Umut Bilgiç

      Dude calm down. Screen is flat, it only has curved edges around

  • Matthew Cooper

    But why a curved screen? It isnt necessary

    • Glorin

      it won’t be.. relax dude

  • Tech Guru

    not a single one of you nay sayers would go back to a 4″ or 4.5″ screen if you’ve used a 4.7″ screen or bigger.

    the 5″ screen of the S4 fits in a body that nearly identical to the body of the One with its 4.7″ screen.

    • Kurt

      Exactly. All this idol worshippers of apple said they wouldn’t want a 4″ iphone as a 3.5″ was “perfect”…Honestly, when I use my iphone 4S it hurts my eyes. My eyes get strained because it’s so small. I got used to the Note 3 screen. It takes me some time to get my eyes to adjust to the baby screen on the iPhone.

      Suck it up people, next year I will be buying an iPhablet and so will you.

      • n0ahcruz3

        Right on!

      • Mohammed

        There is no such thing as (Perfect) screen size.
        I like big phones ,like really big phones.
        My brother can’t use anything bigger than 4 inch.
        Why can’t you get this simple fact?!!!!

  • wy choong

    the main advantages of curved edge is much smoother gesture, especially swiping across the screen from edge.
    the edge swiping gesture from the Nokia N9 is awesome

  • Gagan Mohal

    I guess the plan is if they get the iphone to look more and more like an
    android phone, people won’t notice you can’t do half as much. Here’s an
    idea Apple, how about people give you the $800 or so and you let them
    do what they want with their phone instead of treating them like
    children.

  • n0ahcruz3

    This is apple we are talkin about, if others already implemented it, apple would think differently and implement something others dont have yet or unique to apple. For example while others going bigger and wider screen, apple just stretched the iphone and made it taller while maintaning the one hand use. While others pumping up their megapixel apple remained the same but made the sensor wider. While others going quad cores 8 cores, apple remained dual core but they added the 64bit. Since samsung and LG already made curved screen smartphones, apple will for sure think differently. Just my 2 cents ofcourse.

    • Glorin

      the new 64bit A7 dual core is faster than any Octa core out there… anything else to add?

      • fire115

        Not sure why android fanboys voting this down, facts are facts. The dual core A7 benchmark blows away every other mobile cpu on the market. Geekbench 3.0 scored the Dual core A7 at 2538, closes one was samsung’s galaxy s iv quad-core Octa chip which scored 2077. Forget the Specs, forget gimmicks like “retna display” and other bs, chose the phone that you like and that works best for you, stop listening to everyone else.

    • Σαλαη αββας

      Think different , that’s why we love apple

      • n0ahcruz3

        Yeah but i want a larger iphone 4.5″+ 😛

  • Max Jarrett

    The only reason I see to have curved glass is to be able to reach the other side of the screen.

    Let’s say apple bring out a 4.5+ screen they will still want to boast that you can reach all corners. That’s where the curve comes in.

    • 4p0c4lyps3

      Ya, but the curve wld have to b pretty extreme to impact reach. I see where u r coming from but I don’t think this is what Apple are trying to accomplish with the curved glass.

    • Kurt

      without moving the phone, without moving your hand, only moving your thumb it is impossible to hit all four corners.(which is why apple’s commercial cut away and then came back with the phone in a new position) so since you must move your hand/phone to reach all four corners its just a little bit more of a movement to hit all four corners on 5 in screen. I can do it on my note 3, it’s not ideal, but i can do it and have shown people.

  • 4p0c4lyps3

    Blah blah blah, who cares if it has a curved glass screen. It will b awesome and all will surely buy it. Bring on the 5″ curved glass.

  • Tiffany

    Curved screen? Yuck. Bigger screen? Ok, if it’s a blown up version of the iPhone 5/5s. The dimensions of the phone are perfect as they are now.

  • Ted Forbes

    A 5+ display! Some of us have been yelling for this for some time now and it seems someone might be listening, hopefully.

    Apple iPhone and iOS is running behind in every category of the race, but somehow it always manages to finish BIG & FIRST AND FIRST IN A BIG, BIG WAY! Now isn’t that something?

  • TheBoi23

    If this is true that means the next one will be under 7″ (Ipad Mini) and larger than 5″ that”ll be a inch to inch and a half bigger screen, I don’t think this will cause that much of a issue, even if some people wont like it, they’ll come around sooner or later. How many people bought the new iphone 5C? Maybe one of the worst inventions but people still buy so I dnt see why not ???

  • James Allen

    I think instead of a banding the 4inch screen. Just keep them and make a large one for the people that want a larger screen so everyone is happy. As we see. Making a low model phone 5c. Isn’t a big deal

  • blastingbigairs

    Finally a real reason to upgrade from my 5. Thank god I saved my upgrade.

    • coowkeee

      yeah, i don’t know why other people hate larger screen where there is SIRI to help you. :/ Switched from iphone 4 to G2 instead of ip5 is the best decision i made. Now, I can tell that I will never get used to 4″ displays anymore. Lol. If this jumbo iphone will come out, i will surely buy this one. 😀 But really praying that they will also increase the width not only the height.. haha

  • appleyay

    jumbo lol

  • Jonathan

    Thanks 🙂