Apple Scores Patent for Curved Screen

Patent LawsOrange County – Last week, the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) granted Apple, Inc. its first patent dealing with the technology to create curved displays for its products.  Since the famously tight-lipped company is known for not giving away its upcoming technological implementations, the filings are an important look into what might be on the horizon for Apple.  The development is not too much of a surprise, however, given that both Samsung and LG have both recently entered the market of curved display devices.

The filing, numbered 8,603,574 and entitled, “Curved touch sensor” describes the process for making curved display surfaces.  It details the method for ensuring that the “desired thinness” of the screen is maintained throughout even the curved portions of the display.  It also outlines the way that the products will be manufactured so as not to compromise the integrity of the screens given the curvature.

With rival companies well on their way to launching entire product lines with curved displays, Apple’s new patent assures that the Cupertino company is not allowing itself to be passed up.  Given the consumer demand that smart phones be compact yet provide maximum screen size, curved display technology is appealing.  Apple rivals Samsung and LG have gotten a beat on this and have begun to roll out devices equipped with the rounded screen feature.

Samsung has already rolled out its take on the curved smartphone, the Galaxy Round, which is currently available in South Korea only.  The new device is curved at the vertical axis, making it especially comfortable to hold in one hand.  LG’s rival product, the Flex, is set to debut early next year in India and Korea and curves on the horizontal axis, apparently making for a sort of theater screen effect.  It also makes the bottom positioned microphone closer to the user’s mouth when talking on the phone.

In addition, both LG and Samsung have been selling TV’s with curved screens for some time, leading to the possibility that Apple too might apply the curved screen idea to other devices beyond the iPhone.  The much speculated about iWatch, for example, could serve as a candidate for the curved screen to provide a more comfortable fit against the wrist.  Whatever Apple’s plans for the flexible screen, it will no doubt be interesting to see how the new technology takes form in the company’s line of iDevices.




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