Apple patents a flexible sapphire screen

Curved iPhone

The curved screens aim to be the next technological escalation of smartphones. We have already seen how LG and Samsung have put this concept into practice with the LG G Flex and Samsung Galaxy Round , two models with a curved chassis that represent a first approach to this concept, but have not yet developed it to its full potential. In the future we could see rollable or even folding devices with very different designs from the current concept we have of a smartphone. Apple could join this trend as a result of the latest patents it has registered, which detail a device with an enveloping screen and that would also be covered with sapphire. Those of Cupertino have received the approval of the US patent office , so we could see the first fruits of this research soon.

Registered documents detail a screen that would wrap the device in different ways. It would be a hollow cylinder with an oval section , although there are also other shapes such as circular, triangular or rectangular. The screen would cover both the front, the sides and the back of the terminal, and would be finished off at the ends with a kind of covers. Some time ago they described this system in a patent registration and 3D concepts such as the one in the image above were developed to see the possible result that a device with these characteristics would give. The first thing we ask ourselves is what would happen if we drop the phoneto the ground, if current models with a normal screen are already delicate, a surround panel could break with the slightest blow to one of its sides.

apple store

On this occasion, the apple company describes this system again, but adds a novelty focused on resistance: the sapphire crystal . In Apple they are already fond of using this material, which prevents the occurrence of scratches on its surface. For example the iPhone 5 camera released this material and now it can also be found in the Touch ID sensor of the iPhone 5S,to protect the reader and not degrade over time. Covering the wraparound display with sapphire crystal would increase resistance, but even if it prevents scratches, bumps are still a problem. In any case, it is a patent and that does not imply that the device will be manufactured with exactly those characteristics. The document also includes some details about the operation, such as a sensor that would detect the rotation to update the screen in real time.

Samsung filed a very similar patent a few weeks ago, in which they did detail the possible operation of a device with these characteristics. The sides covered by the panel would allow the placement of tactile tools for volume, turn off the device, scroll through a list or unlock the screen. The advantage of this system is to clear the front and also allow eliminating physical buttons.