Apple again investigating 'wrap around' display for iPhone

Posted:
in General Discussion edited November 2019
Another patent filing has revealed that Apple is continuing its efforts to make foldable iPhones, this time specifically looking to make use of the sides and back of devices.

Detail from a drawing in Apple's patent application for a device with a
Detail from a drawing in Apple's patent application for a device with a "wrap around" screen


Apple has filed a continuation on the subject of foldable displays and their use in electronic devices, specifically how to "present visual content" on any part of the device, such as an iPhone or iPad,

It describes an "electronic device with wrap around display," which contains "at least" a transparent housing and a flexible screen.

"A portable electronic device having front and rear surfaces, comprising: a transparent enclosure that forms at least part of the front and rear surfaces; a circuit board; and a display assembly configured to provide visual content," describes the patent, "wherein the display assembly is positioned in the transparent enclosure and extends around the circuit board, wherein the display assembly has first and second ends, wherein the second end is coupled to the first end at a joint, and wherein the visual content extends continuously across the joint."

Rather than a folding display as described in previous patents by Apple in 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2018, this patent discusses two or more screens that overlap.

"[For example] wherein: the display assembly defines a first display assembly, the second display assembly overlaps the first display assembly, and the first display assembly and the second display assembly combine to present 3D visual content," it says.

However, the patent also touches on what appears to be a more familiar folding display system.

"[Such as] a housing having a front portion and a back portion integrally formed with the front portion, wherein the front portion and the back portion are formed from a transparent material that defines an internal volume...," it continues, "wherein the display assembly wraps around the circuit board and the battery. "

Patently Apple reported on the patent application on Saturday.

While Apple has said nothing publicly about the use of folding or overlapping displays, it has been continuously filing patents regarding elements of them for several years.

Most recently, the company has applied for a patent that covers how a circuit board for such a device could itself be flexible.

Late last year, Apple also filed a patent for devices where the screen could be folded in multiple ways.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 26
    jd_in_sbjd_in_sb Posts: 1,600member
    Since all iPhones have a case I’m not sure how useful an edge display will be
    SnickersMagoowatto_cobra
  • Reply 2 of 26
    spice-boyspice-boy Posts: 1,439member
    $1000 to buy, $2000 to repair. 
    SnickersMagoocy_starkman
  • Reply 3 of 26
    It's really pathetic when Apple gets as desperate as samdung to come up with a wiz bang feature..,,
    lkrupp
  • Reply 4 of 26
    normangnormang Posts: 116member
    A patent filing does not a product make, however if the are still going down this road, IMHO its a waste of time and money..
    coolfactorneo-techwatto_cobraCarnage
  • Reply 5 of 26
    normang said:
    A patent filing does not a product make, however if the are still going down this road, IMHO its a waste of time and money..
    As you say, a patent filing does not a product make. I'm ok with Apple looking at this sort of thing.

    Doing some R&D is just the first step towards a POSSIBLE product. It would be amiss of Apple if they didn't investigate this and many other technologies even if they later discard them. Something that they learn in that work might come in useful in another project.
    Much of R&D leads to a dead end but you don't know that when you start unless you have a Crystal Ball in your pocket.


    coolfactorMissNomerbb-15neo-techapplesnorangeswatto_cobraStrangeDaysmuthuk_vanalingam
  • Reply 6 of 26
    netroxnetrox Posts: 1,052member
    I would love display on back especially as a viewfinder for rear camera since quality in selfie mode is less.
    bloggerblog
  • Reply 7 of 26
    normangnormang Posts: 116member
    normang said:
    A patent filing does not a product make, however if the are still going down this road, IMHO its a waste of time and money..
    As you say, a patent filing does not a product make. I'm ok with Apple looking at this sort of thing.

    Doing some R&D is just the first step towards a POSSIBLE product. It would be amiss of Apple if they didn't investigate this and many other technologies even if they later discard them. Something that they learn in that work might come in useful in another project.
    Much of R&D leads to a dead end but you don't know that when you start unless you have a Crystal Ball in your pocket.


    I am pretty sure they do a lot of R&D that never sees the light of day. Patenting this perhaps gives them some cover for something else, but its still a silly path to go down. I would much rather see continued performance, better camera, and optimized sofware than a device that folds an dies on a routine basis
    coolfactorwatto_cobra
  • Reply 8 of 26
    coolfactorcoolfactor Posts: 1,833member
    It's really pathetic when Apple gets as desperate as samdung to come up with a wiz bang feature..,,

    There's absolutely nothing wrong with exploratory work. It's called Research & Development, and we would not have what we have today without companies exploring different avenues. One idea leads to another which leads to another. Just because they explore an idea or concept does not mean that they'll release a product with that design.

    This curved design will never make it to the market. It's just R&D.

    MissNomerbb-15watto_cobramacxpressStrangeDays
  • Reply 9 of 26
    Unless the rap-around screen also unfolds, I don’t see how it would be practical.  I can envision it, and it would be great for videos (etc) but it wouldn’t be that useful for apps. Unless...

    I can see Apple creating a wristband phone/watch with the technology, but making it fit (and be comfortable)  would be incredibly difficult.

    The reason the wristband works is it increases the useable surface area.  You could for example have a phone pad (video conferencing) on the underside, while having an app (document/presentation etc) on the top.

    All this would be really fun, but you’d need to get what’s on the screen closer to your eyeballs (smart glasses, VR, AR).

    Why this might work is because all the processing is done on the wristband, which would make the thing on your head much lighter and more comfortable.
    edited November 2019 watto_cobratenthousandthingsGeorgeBMac
  • Reply 10 of 26
    apple ][apple ][ Posts: 9,233member
    jd_in_sb said:
    Since all iPhones have a case I’m not sure how useful an edge display will be
    All? I never keep anything in a case, including my iPhone.

    Bare naked is the way to go. I want to feel the actual product that I bought when I'm using it.
    bb-15caladaniankingofsomewherehot
  • Reply 11 of 26
    apple ][apple ][ Posts: 9,233member
    It's really pathetic when Apple gets as desperate as samdung to come up with a wiz bang feature..,,
    Calm down, Apple will never be as desperate as Samsung.

    And this is just R&D, Apple should be looking into and exploring everything. This does not mean that there will ever be a product to come out of this.

    Have you seen all of the other patents that Apple has filed throughout the years?

    If you did, then you wouldn't have made the ignorant comment that you did.
    bb-15watto_cobrashark5150StrangeDaysmuthuk_vanalingam
  • Reply 12 of 26
    SoliSoli Posts: 10,030member
    jd_in_sb said:
    Since all iPhones have a case I’m not sure how useful an edge display will be
    All iPhones? I certainly don't use a case. That said, I don't see this being used for an iPhone, but I can see it used for other, yet unannounced products like the curved display of a dashboard or some other device that would work best if following an arc, even if slight.
    edited November 2019 bb-15watto_cobrakingofsomewherehotStrangeDays
  • Reply 13 of 26
    apple ][ said:
    jd_in_sb said:
    Since all iPhones have a case I’m not sure how useful an edge display will be
    All? I never keep anything in a case, including my iPhone.

    Bare naked is the way to go. I want to feel the actual product that I bought when I'm using it.
    i am the same but with this 11Pro i became concerned about scratching the camera lenses from lying on a surface frequently.. so i have begrudgingly put the slimmest case on i could find that gives them a slight gap when lying flat
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 14 of 26
    apple ][apple ][ Posts: 9,233member
    apple ][ said:
    jd_in_sb said:
    Since all iPhones have a case I’m not sure how useful an edge display will be
    All? I never keep anything in a case, including my iPhone.

    Bare naked is the way to go. I want to feel the actual product that I bought when I'm using it.
    i am the same but with this 11Pro i became concerned about scratching the camera lenses from lying on a surface frequently.. so i have begrudgingly put the slimmest case on i could find that gives them a slight gap when lying flat
    I do have a sleeve that I put my iPad Pro in when I'm travelling and I throw it in a backpack,  but when I use it I don't have anything on it. I guess people use their iPads in different ways, because I never have mine flat on a surface or table. I'm always using some sort of stand when using it at home. I have the 10.5 Pro, not the 11" Pro.

    Oh, I just realized you're talking about the iPhone 11 Pro, not the iPad Pro 11" I think.
    edited November 2019 watto_cobra
  • Reply 15 of 26
    Saungbdold has shown its too early for a rue foldable screen. 

    The others calling their stuff “foldable” is a joke. It’s just two separate flat displays hinged like a laptop or... Nintendo DS. 

    NOTHING NEW. nothing innovative. 

    No thanks. 

    Having my screen wraparound sounds like trouble as well. 

    As it is I’m constantly having to move my fingers because they’re inadvertently interacting with the screen just by holding the phone. 
    edited November 2019
  • Reply 16 of 26
    MIX Alpha with iOS, fine
  • Reply 17 of 26
    GeorgeBMacGeorgeBMac Posts: 10,270member
    It's really pathetic when Apple gets as desperate as samdung to come up with a wiz bang feature..,,
    "Wiz Bang"?   Well, no, not so much.

    At this point, the critical limitation on smart phones is the ratio of screen size to phone size -- putting the largest screen possible in the smallest external form factor size.

    So, that means using every available means of making the screen bigger.   It's not Wiz Bang, it's the future.  The question is:  What is the best way to do that?
  • Reply 18 of 26
    GeorgeBMacGeorgeBMac Posts: 10,270member
    normang said:
    normang said:
    A patent filing does not a product make, however if the are still going down this road, IMHO its a waste of time and money..
    As you say, a patent filing does not a product make. I'm ok with Apple looking at this sort of thing.

    Doing some R&D is just the first step towards a POSSIBLE product. It would be amiss of Apple if they didn't investigate this and many other technologies even if they later discard them. Something that they learn in that work might come in useful in another project.
    Much of R&D leads to a dead end but you don't know that when you start unless you have a Crystal Ball in your pocket.


    I am pretty sure they do a lot of R&D that never sees the light of day. Patenting this perhaps gives them some cover for something else, but its still a silly path to go down. I would much rather see continued performance, better camera, and optimized sofware than a device that folds an dies on a routine basis
    Is it silly?   Actually, this looks like a refinement on Huawei's folding phone -- where the junction where the two ends meet could be "de-coupled" to enable the rear screen to fold out and double the screen size of the phone.

    Is that so far fetched?   According to the article:
    ""wherein the display assembly is positioned in the transparent enclosure and extends around the circuit board, wherein the display assembly has first and second ends, wherein the second end is coupled to the first end at a joint, and wherein the visual content extends continuously across the joint."

    So, apparently it is one continuous screen formed into a loop with the two ends "coupled" together.   While it does not say those two ends can be uncoupled, neither is there any reason to think that they couldn't be.
  • Reply 19 of 26
    jd_in_sb said:
    Since all iPhones have a case I’m not sure how useful an edge display will be
    No, you're simply wrong.
  • Reply 20 of 26
    MplsPMplsP Posts: 3,257member
    jd_in_sb said:
    Since all iPhones have a case I’m not sure how useful an edge display will be
    No, you're simply wrong.
    Clearly not all iPhones have cases, but the overwhelming majority do. Moreover, since they switched to a glass back I’d wager that portion has increased. I’ve had iPhones since the 3G and never broken a screen until I got my Xs. 3 weeks after I got it I broke the back - despite having a case. 

    Even if 20% of the people don’t use a case, that means a wrap around display would be all but useless for 80% of the owners and certainly couldn’t be used for any critical functions. 
    bonobob
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