Apple on Wednesday morning was granted the patent for a rather odd, but nonetheless innovative, new display technology — one that would, in essence, allow the company to design and build an iPhone featuring a truly borderless, edge-to-edge display, covering the entirety of the device’s front-facing surface area.
Apple’s patent filed with the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office, titled “electronic devices having displays with openings,” describes the broader concept of “a display that may occupy the entire front-face” (of an iPhone, in this instance). This type of design would be achievable, in part, thanks to the underlying “holey” technology covered under Cupertino’s new patent.
Speaking in the most basic, technological terms possible, Apple’s forthcoming, OLED-equipped iPhone could boast a display featuring a multitude of little “microscopic pores” — tiny holes in the screen, if you will, “behind which electronic components — such as a camera, a speaker, or a microphone — are mounted,” according to Business Insider.
In other words, Apple, by employing its freshly patented technology, would be able to create an iPhone featuring a truly edge-less display — a strategically porous panel, underneath which all the device’s external components — the camera, earpiece, and even home button, for example — could be mounted, so as to provide unrestricted access to those components even through the display glass and underlying, touch-sensitive basal layers.
This technology, having been patented by Apple, adds plenty of fuel to the fire of previous rumors suggesting that the curved OLED display destined for the company’s upcoming iPhone 8 flagship will represent the first device to feature a “truly edgeless” display. Of course, if such ultimately turns out to be the case, the move could also signify a broader shift in Apple’s design language, altogether — as the company appears determined and ready to deliver several devices featuring minimalist displays in 2017. Although, those rumored devices likely won’t feature this advanced, porous display technology.
In any case, whether or not we’ll see this debut on Apple’s upcoming 10th anniversary iPhone 8 remains to be seen. However, according to a myriad of accounts that have surfaced thus far, the iPhone 8’s internals will be sandwiched between two all-glass, front and back panels, with a steel or aluminum alloy frame holding it all together.
What do you think about Apple’s vision of a “truly edge-to-edge” display? Let us know in the comments below!