California Intellectual Property Blog


Apple Receives Patent for iPhone That is Entirely a Screen

apple-storeSan Diego – Apple was granted a patent for a button-less phone with a wrap-around screen the encompasses the entire phone. The innovative design is intended to take better advantage of phone space and to remove fixed buttons, such as the volume controls that are usually externally located on the sides.

The iPhone’s design would still allow for key elements of smartphones, such as microphones and a camera. Instead of buttons, however, everything would fall under the function of the touch screen. The volume control would still be found on the side of the phone, but would require a light tap rather than a button press. To lock or unlock the phone, users would do a multi-touch gesture along the side of the device.

The larger screen space could change some aspects of user experience with the phone. Five apps, instead of four, would fit across the screen. Content such as videos and pictures could be shown wrapped around the screen. As the patent states, “a flexible display can be folded in such a way as to form a continuous loop such that images (still or video) can be presented in a wrap-around manner in which the images appear to be presented in a continuous loop.” This continuous loop could present a more engaging experience with photos, videos, and articles. The design is meant to improve the overall user experience.

This design would not be the first time a screen wraps around the edges of a phone. Samsung’s S6 Edge is designed with a curved screen, which extends beyond the screen’s front into the screen’s sides. This phone, if Apple does eventually complete the design and produce it, would be the first to have the screen cover the entirety of the phone without any buttons.

It still remains to be seen whether Apple will pursue the creation of this product. The existence of the patent does indicate Apple designers view the technology as attainable at some point down the road. If Apple decides to pursue this design, it now owns a patent to it. If released it could mark a new wave of innovation in cell phones.


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