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Apple’s team of talented designers and engineers are constantly drawing-up ideas and seeking intellectual property protection on bold new concepts and technologies (both far-out and presently “in-the-making.“)
Published this week by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), the company’s intriguing IP describes a mobile device like iPhone or iPad, completely redesigned and equipped with a flexible, 360-degree touchscreen display, which literally wraps around the entire device.
Apple’s proposed device looks akin to an iPhone or iPod Touch — although it most notably features a whole new shape, form-factor and design offering “advanced touch- and gesture-based input” all the way around.
A Display Unlike Anything Else
Patently Apple notes in its reporting that Apple’s current iPhone X models feature glass panels on both their front and back sides, and, because of that, the company could technically integrate touch sensors into the back glass panel, too.
“Apple also wants to add tilt controls allowing a user to turn pages of a document,” the publication added, noting that the iPhone-like device could be geared towards mobile gamers in light of its advanced use of touch- and tilt-based gesture controls.
Both publications delve into exhaustive detail about the device — including how, if it comes to be an actual product, Apple will likely employ what’s known as the Czochralski process: a method of creating “synthetic gemstones like sapphire crystal” for use in the manufacturing of the device.
“A flexible display is glued to the inside of this hollow sapphire cover using transparent adhesives in a number of configurations,” My Smart Price explains of the gadget’s potential fabrication process, adding that some embodiments (such as a round, cylindrical form-factor) provide a more seamless design, whereas others (such as we’ve seen in current Android flagships) “exhibit a conspicuous seam where the ends of the flexible display meet.”
Apple goes on to offer multiple, conceptual embodiments of its proposed gadget (see above), including the cylindrical, triangular, boxed and similar slightly-bent display designs (a la previous foldable iPhone patents)
Ultimately, while the company outlines a wealth of additional details about the device, as well as how it’s made from start to finish, we simply don’t know if something like it will ever arrive on store shelves.
But, given the company’s ongoing work on a foldable iPhone meant to directly take-on Samsung’s upcoming Galaxy F, a device along these lines might be exactly what Apple needs to stay ahead of the curve (no pun intended).