A newly published Apple patent details an iPhone with a wrap around display, very small bezels, and no home button.
Lean into the curve
Here’s more from the patent, which was originally filed in early 2015:
In the last few years the functionality of portable electronic devices has increased exponentially. Further improvements be realized by investigating ways to maximize the utility of unused portions of these devices. Form factor is an interesting area for development given that a large majority of portable electronic devices have settled into a standard form factor; namely a flat planar form factor with a display on one side and an opaque housing which contains the electrical components covering the rear surface of the device. Unfortunately, this popular form factor, leaves the sides and rear surfaces of the device unused or at best configured with buttons and switches with fixed location and functionality. Since many of these buttons and switches have fixed functionality they cannot always be incorporated into third party applications.
Therefore, there exists a need for an improved form factor for portable electronic devices which allows functionality to extend to more than one surface of the device.
Just to note, even with filing a patent, that doesn’t mean the described phone will ever be produced. But it is definitely an interesting look at what Apple could be planning for in the future.
A big change in 2017?
While the next-generation iPhone is expected to offer a nearly identical form factor to the current iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus, Apple has been rumored to be planning a major redesign for the 2017 model.
Early early rumors about the handset that say it will feature some type of new enclosure not made from aluminum. It could also sport a new type of display with AMOLED technology.
Back in April, our own Abdel Ibrahim speculated that the iPhone’s exterior could be made with Liquid Metal – a specialized type of metallic glass.
And a fingerprint sensor without a home button is more than just fantasy. Back in May, LG Innotek has announced the invention of a fingerprint sensor module that is built under the display’s glass. The company even said it is “in talks with some handset manufacturers to commercialize the new modules within the year.”