As spotted by PatentlyApple, the filing describes a “six-sided glass enclosure” which appears “visually and tactilely seamless,” despite actually featuring two separate glass elements. Apple says the device could feature “no dedicated or visually distinguishable front or top”.
The concept could more than double the size of the display without requiring the phone to be, you know, massive.
When scrolling through settings or content, rather than disappearing, interfaces could continue onto the ‘back’ of the device, essentially doubling the amount of content the phone is able to display. And with no discernable front or top, volume buttons could remain on the left side of the device, whichever way the user is holding it.
Of course, one worry is how breakable a glass iPhone might prove. As anyone who’s ever smashed an iPhone screen will attest (guilty), one drop can spell doom for your display. Do we really want to end up carrying around an actual slab of cracked glass? We just hope those new ceramic shield displays continue to get stronger.
So what might it look like? Concept artists have been imagining an all-glass iPhone for a while now, and perhaps our favourite example comes courtesy of ConceptsiPhone (below). The render shows just how much that wrap-around display could pop, and we’re seriously impressed.
As with all patents, there’s no knowing whether this thing will ever become a reality. Until then, we’ll just have to make do with a plain old two-dimensional rectangular screen.