Back at CES, Samsung showcased their YOUM flexible AMOLED display technology. One concept they showed off featured a Note-like smartphone with a display that wrapped around to the edges of the device. Of their flexible phone prototypes, it appeared to the most world-ready. Now a patent filing from Apple has surfaced showcasing a device of similar construction. Should Samsung’s legal team already be worried?
Apple’s device is slightly different than the one Samsung showcased. Where in the case of their YOUM prototype, the curved edge of the display provided a bit more screen real estate that could be used for shortcuts or perhaps a notification ticker, but Apple’s proposal takes things a step further. Their all-glass iPhone concept would have a screen that wrapped 360 degrees around the phone.
The proposed device could also use sensors such as the front facing camera to smartly determine where the viewer is looking, allowing other unused areas of the screen to be turned off, conserving battery. Apple details several possible designs, all of which are pretty unfeasible given current technology, while also discussing the possibility of docking several iPhones together end to end or using mountable accessories such as an improved camera. They even talk of stacked displays behind the curved glass creating a 3D effect.
Don’t expect this design to feature in the next iteration of the iPhone. If Apple plans to pursue this line of thought, it’s something for a bit further down the road. Honestly, the concept seems a bit too zany for the simple aesthetic of Apple. It is more likely that this is just another bit of patent ammunition as Samsung gears up for the release of their first device to feature flexible AMOLED technology.