While patents usually give us the most interesting information about Apple’s medium and long-term plans, they also hold the most unexpected surprises in store for us. Surprises like the patent at hand, that of an iPhone entirely in glass with a screen that covers its entire surface.
The iPhone of the future or the idea behind the design of the first iPhone
The idea of the iPhone as a device reduced to a single sheet of glass has haunted the collective imagination shortly after the launch of the original iPhone. A device with a screen over its entire surface, with indicators on the sides, with tactile buttons and without ports that also seems to be in Apple’s plans, at least according to a new patent.
Initially discovered by Patently Apple and titled “Electronic device with glass case”, this patent explores the manufacture of a device, by the images we speak of an iPhone, with a glass finish on its six sides. These six faces would have, inside, six flexible screens which could adapt to the curvature of the glass and which could also serve as tactile regions.
The different pieces of glass would be positioned to form a continuous surface, with a few openings to accommodate the microphone and speakers. In some areas the glass might even have a different texture, so that when touched we could tell that it is a tactile surface. A resource that can quickly remind us of the volume buttons, for example.
Depending on the orientation in which you use the phone, the software will display the information dynamically. This would allow information to be viewed in the corners which would also be interactive and would erase the main screen of the need to display it. We can think, for example, that the indicators of Wi-Fi, battery and connectivity would be located in a corner of the iPhone, so we would have more space for the content on the screen.
Finally, Apple is studying how to access the interior of such a device. Required both for its manufacture and for necessary maintenance or repairs during its useful life, Apple lifts a kind of glass on the sides. It is also considering the possibility of removing the entire underside, something quite consistent with the system we saw in the original iPhone, and which would allow easy access to the circuitry and components of this spectacular phone.
The patent ends with a few illustrations of an Apple Watch, a cylindrical Mac Pro, and a Mac Pro tower also fully finished in glass, a material increasingly found in Apple devices and quite versatile in many circumstances. . The same Apple Watch Series 7 comes to mind, mixing its giant screen with the watch body to practically form a unit.
It is clear that, as the saying goes, from patent to commercial product, there is a long way. But it is very interesting that Apple has such an interesting product as this.