A patent application published Thursday reveals how Apple could incorporate flexible OLED displays into future devices to improve their function without sacrificing strength. The technology could get Apple closer to producing bezel-less devices in existing product lines such as the iPhone, iPad and MacBook as well as speculative product categories like the iWatch.
The patent refers to a technique for reducing a display border by bending the sides of a display surface in such a way that electrode materials used in the device could be made to stretch rather than break when bent or folded. The application, titled “Flexible Displays” and filed in July 2013, means that future Apple devices need not be limited in size by the requirement that they include metal or plastic housings.
How do you increase the size of a touchscreen without increasing the screen real estate? Answer: by creating a smart bezel.
A new patent published today reveals how a future generation iPad could feature a bezel able to detect gesture and touch inputs through Force Sensing. Not only would the technique described allow gestures — such as swipes — to continue off the normal surface of the screen, but it would also allow specific virtual buttons for tasks such as scrolling to be incorporated into the iPad’s bezel.
Apple is gearing up to launch its fifth-generation iPad this September, according to sources in its supply chain. The device is expected to offer a new form factor much like the iPad mini’s, as well as some backlighting modifications and better battery life.
We may have to wait a little longer for the second-generation iPad mini, however. The sources claim Apple is still deciding whether to bring a Retina display to the 7.85-inch device, and if it does, the launch could be delayed until “the end of the fourth quarter.”
Although we’re excited about the iPhone 5S, we’re not expecting it to be vastly different to the iPhone 5. We at least expect it to look largely identical. But according to a new rumor that has surfaced in China, the device could come with thinner bezels and a new display that offers twice as many pixels.