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iPhone 6 rumor rollup for the week ending April 5

John Cox | April 8, 2013
Production runs, price cuts, defying common sense, patent passion

The International Business Times has never met an Apple patent that it didn't loveloveLOVE for the Next iPhone.

"Since patents filed by Apple were released by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office last Thursday, many have suggested that the next iPhone may feature not only a thin and flexible display that is able to wrap around the device, but that this display will be transparent against a seamless glass chassis," posted Fionna Agomuoh.

Agomuoh refers to "several other designs" given as examples in the patent, "an elongated trapezoid-shaped device and a cylindrical-shaped device," which presumably is a cylinder. "If the patent designs are any indication, we may be looking at a new design for the iPhone 6," she concludes. Though she admits, "the idea of a transparent screen is nothing new."

Indeed. But perhaps she was confusing transparent screen -- seeing as how we have to, you know, see what's on the screen, which is difficult when it's opaque -- with the "transparent chassis" celebrated by Mikey Campbell in his account of the same patent at AppleInsider

"The star of the device is its wrap-around display, which is fitted into the transparent chassis by folding, inserting, and unfolding or 'unrolling,'" he enthuses. "In one embodiment, the filing calls for a flexible display to be folded so that a continuous band is formed, on which various graphical assets like photos and video can be shown. By orienting the screen in such a manner, the invention is able to show a much broader set of graphics when compared to a smartphone."

"This is certainly one of Apple's hottest inventions of the year," said an equally enthusiastic Jack Purcher, at PatentlyApple

At the risk of being thought a troglodyte, the Rollup is emphatically underwhelmed. And looking at the simple drawings in the patent doesn't help. It's undeniable that by making a handheld device's entire body into a screen you increase the surface area of the screen. But you can still only see or touch one surface bit at a time. And one-handed, or one-thumbed, use would seem to get more, not less, awkward with a wrap-around display. Maybe you could finger it like a flute, or a guitar.

Or maybe the flexible foldable curvable screen is supposed to unfold from around the device. Like a flower petal blossoming. Or ... like the Origami Power Folding Stroller from 4Moms. Follow the link and click on "Watch the video." 

That would work.


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