Apple patents a curved screen phone

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The first curved screen phone Samsung Galaxy Edge was released in 2014. Other companies like Huawei, Oppo & Xiaomi followed Samsung and made their own curved screen phones.

Apple also may be working on a curved screen phone according to its latest granted patent.

The United States Patent & Trademark Office granted a patent to Apple yesterday that relates to a curved screen phone.

Apple notes in its patent that, “electronic devices such as portable computers and cellular telephones are often provided with displays. For example, a liquid crystal display (LCD) may be formed from a stack of display structures such as an thin-film transistor layer with display pixels for providing visual information to a user, a color filter layer for providing the display pixels with color, a touch screen panel for gathering touch input from a user, and a cover glass layer for protecting the display and internal components.

It is often desirable to produce portable devices of minimal size. Users of portable electronic devices may find a thinner device more desirable than a thicker device. Compact portable devices are sometimes provided with convex housing shapes. A convex housing shape may increase the internal volume of a device while preserving a sleek, thin look that is aesthetically pleasing to a user.

A portable compact device with a convex housing may have a display. In conventional arrangements, the display is flat, so only the portions of the device other than the display have a convex shape. This may limit the internal volume of the device and may detract from its appearance.”

Apple notes in its patent summary that, “the convex displays may include one or more flexible display layers and may be mounted on top of or under a cover layer with a curved shape. For example, a flexible display layer may be mounted on top of a rigid support member having a convex surface or may be mounted on the concave underside of a rigid convex display cover layer.

Convex displays may be provided with touch-sensitive capabilities by stacking a touch sensor array on top of or under flexible display layers. Rigid convex displays may be formed from a flexible display layer, a touch-sensitive layer, and a rigid cover layer or support structure.

Devices having convex displays formed from curved flexible display layers may help maximize the use of the internal volume of an electronic device.”

Apple’s figure 3 is perspective view of an exemplary embodiment of device #10 with convex display #14 and convex housing #12 in which housing #12 has an opening #300 that may provide access to, e.g., an audio port.

A portion of housing #12 may form a bezel such as bezel #304. Bezel #304 may be formed so that bezel #304 and display #14 form a common smooth surface or may be formed raised above or depressed below the outer surface of display #14. Bezel #304 may be a separate bezel member or may be formed as a portion of housing #12.

As shown in figure 3, top and bottom portions #306 of bezel #200 may have a convex (curved) shape that matches the cross-sectional curved shape of convex display #14.

Figure 4 is a cross-sectional side view of an illustrative embodiment of device #10 taken along line #302 of figure 3 and viewed in direction #303.

As shown in figure 4, device #10 has a convex shape formed by convex housing #12 and convex display #14. Device #10 may also include internal components such as battery #310 and components #312.

The convex shape of housing #12 and display #14 of device #10 may provide device #10 with a thin appearance while providing an interior space that is able to accommodate internal components such as battery #310.  

This patent was initially filed on August 29th, 2017.

It is not known at this point of time when this invention gets incorporated into an Apple curved screen iPhone.

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