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New rumour on iPhone 5S unveiling date; Apple also patenting wraparound display

- March 29th, 2013
People queue outside an Apple store

REUTERS/Tony Gentile

Rumours have been flying around for the past while on when Apple’s next iPhone will be released. A few weeks ago, it was August, but now the Internet is saying it could come even sooner.

As Electronista reports, the rumour suggests Apple will unveil the iPhone 5S at a media event on June 20, and it could go on sale as early as July. The rumour, which actually comes from Japanese fanzine Mac Fan, also suggests Apple may unveil a new update to iOS at the same event, which might show off an entire overhaul of the OS’s design. However, that part of the rumour is deemed a “prediction” and not information from an inside source.

Electronista says the June launch date has gained credibility as then the phone could could to go head-to-head with the Samsung Galaxy S4, which is expected to come to North American carriers in May.  A June 20 event would  also be close to the anniversary of the original iPhone’s launch, which was unveiled on June 29, 2007.

Though Eric Slivka of MacRumors, finds a June 20 unveiling highly unlikely.  He says while Apple hasn’t officially announced a date for its annual Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) in San Francisco, the schedule for Moscone Center (where the event is held) would suggest it would be held during the week of June 10-14.  So Slivka suggests it seems unlikely they would hold a separate media event a week later. He suggests the  iPhone 5s would likely either be announced during the conference’s Monday keynote address or several weeks later.

Apple design for patent of iPhone with a wraparound display

Apple design for patent of a phone with a wraparound display. (U.S. Patent & Trademark Office/HO)

In other Apple news, The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has published a patent application by the company for a wraparound screen, ZDNet reports. As writer Charlie Osbourne explains:

“Potentially, the smartphone could contain up to two AMOLED screens. Standing for Active Matrix OLED — these types of screen pair a traditional TFT display with an OLED display. Due to their active matrix, AMOLED screens have faster pixel switching, which means that response types are higher than OLED displays. The use of AMOLED and a conical shape for the flexible panel could offer users ‘an illusion of depth perception [...] mimicking a 3D experience.’”

Filed Sept. 26, 2011, the patent application  states this design “allows functionality to extend to more than one surface of the device” – in other words the edges and back of the phone.

Osborne posits: “Apple may be considering the use of curved screens and a flexible display which not only is touch-responsive, but makes use of the surface on both sides of a future iPhone.”

Future, indeed. The design also removes buttons altogether and includes facial recognition technology that could be used to determine the angle at which the user is holding the smartphone and adjust the image accordingly.

This, obviously, won’t be part of the iPhone 5S, or probably even an iPhone 6, but it may appear in an iPhone down the road.

Personally, though, I’m more interested in when the competition steals this technology to see if they do something more exciting with it.

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6 comments

  1. Matt | March 29, 2013 at 10:47 pm

    I couldn’t see them coming out with a revolutionary game changing design and then calling it the ‘iPhone 5S’. It would deserve its own designation. If it’s true though, it does look fascinating.

  2. Greg Gazin | March 30, 2013 at 12:32 pm

    It makes sense for the next major announcement or rollout to be done at the WWDC, but with so much buzz around with other vendors, I think we might see something a little earlier – maybe not a new iPhone, but perhaps something iPad related.

  3. maxx | March 30, 2013 at 2:14 pm

    But is is not apple that is stealing this idea as samsung has been working with curved flexible AMOLED screens for a year now? I have not even heard of apple wanting to use this before until now but have seen Samsung demo units of this technology for some time now.. don’t get me wrong I’m a apple guy but I just feel like they are playing catch up now.

  4. John Smith | March 30, 2013 at 2:34 pm

    When the competition steals this? Hasn’t the competition (Samsung) already showed working versions of this at CES 12 and 13.love how the apple fanboys talk of the competition stealing, even though most of their patent catalogues were taken from other companies. And why would you want 3d,let alone a3d like, phone. Theyjust seen the Samsung demo and thought maybe they could get a head start on litigation.

  5. Adam Swimmer | March 30, 2013 at 7:12 pm

    Matt, I agree that this curved AMOLED screen design wouldn’t be part of the iPhone 5S. I don’t imagine this design to be part of an iPhone anytime soon.

    As for the stealing comment, Maxx and John Smith, it was a joke. You’re right that a curved OLED is not revolutionary. This patent, was actually filed on Sept. 26, 2011. The U.S. patent office just made it public now.

    But you’re both right that Samsung has been working on flexible OLEDs for awhile. Not only did they unveil a somewhat similar design to this at CES, they also unveiled the Youm project which, supposedly, is a bendable phone.

    The Apple design’s curve has a somewhat smoother look with thinner edges than the Samsung one. Though, to be fair, it is just a drawing so who knows what the actual phone would look like.

    As for the 3D part, I totally agree. I never really saw the point of it on a phone – let alone fake 3D. In 2011, I reviewed the LG Optimus 3D and I found the feature gimmicky then and and still do now. It also made the phone quite heavy.

  6. Greg Gazin | March 30, 2013 at 7:13 pm

    I think LG has also been working on this technology too. Personally it doesn’t matter who was first. I’d just like to see its implementation and of course affordable displays for consumers.

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