We’ve seen plenty of iPhone rumors that are difficult to prove, but an Apple patent published today (May 13) gives us the most credible peek yet at an exciting design change for future iPhones. Upcoming handsets could feature a wraparound display with virtual buttons on the side.
Filed by the Cupertino company in 2011, the patent discusses flexible displays that can be used on multiple surfaces of devices, including front and edges. The edge displays may function as virtual buttons or switches, or could also provide information that supplements the main screen.
This means the edges of future iPhones could be touchscreen displays, giving easier access to key functions. Based on drawings accompanying the filing, the edge buttons could be used to trigger camera settings, music playback and volume, or even specific apps such as Messages and Calendar. These buttons can be designed with haptic or audio components to give feedback when they’re activated.
The patent also details how tapping, sliding or swiping the edge of the handset could change the operating mode or trigger other functions. As reported by Apple Insider, this sidewall display or a flexible OLED screen is not expected to show up in the iPhone 6, but the patent does point to future iPhones carrying this technology.
In the meantime, we can’t wait until the anticipated August or September release of the next iPhone to see for ourselves what the new device will look like.
via Apple Insider