Samsung has popularized and mainstreamed so-called phablets, then Apple followed suit by making its iPhones bigger. And with last year’s release of the Galaxy S6 with a curved screen, legitimate questions arose as to whether Apple should engineer an iPhone with a wraparound display.
Before you jump straight to the comments, consider Apple’s patent applications for an “Electronic device with wrapped display,” which surfaced Thursday in the United States Patent and Trademark Office’s database.
As PatentlyApple points out, it’s a more finely tuned version of Apple’s two original patent filings discovered in Europe’s Patent Office database, which relate to curved-screen phones and using a Liquidmetal process to achieve the iPhone’s design.
A material such as sapphire, other crystalline materials or other transparent materials may be used in forming the hollow display cover structure.
A flexible display, such as an organic light-emitting diode (OLED) display layer, is then wrapped around the longitudinal axis to cover the interior surface of the hollow display cover structure. The flexible display layer is at least partially covered by the front portion and the curved side portion of the display cover structure.
“The flexible display layer may have edges that abut without overlapping, may have overlapping edges, or may have edges that protrude through an opening in a support structure along a seam,” Apple explains.
The device may use one or more sensors to gather information on rotational motion of the device in order to display content on the flexible display layer accordingly. In other words, such cylindrical display would rotate content as the device is turned, which could be handy in certain games (above: a maze example) and for scrolling face side content with a backside gesture (as pictured below).
And when the device is laid flat on a surface, it would automatically scroll content such as stock quotes, sports scores, news headlines and so forth around the surface of its display, not unlike Samsung’s Galaxy S6 edge.
Today’s patent application credits Apple engineers Scott Myers, Derek Wright and Fletcher Rothkopf as its inventors.