According to a report from the Wall Street Journal, Apple is currently conducting research into bendable screens. The company is considering implementing a new type of bending screen developed by Japan Display into future iPhones.
The technology in question stands out from your typical smartphone screens because instead of being made with LCD and glass the screens are created with LCD and plastic, allowing them to bend freely.
The Samsung Galaxy Edge already has a display which slightly curves around the edges, but the screens showcased by Japan Display show a phone that can be firmly bent and squeezed by users without causing any damage to the phone.
Japan Display claim that they will be mass-producing the screen and making them available in 2018, with further development required before they will be fit for consumers to bend and shape freely without causing malfunction or damage to products.
A plastic screen could even fortify a phone against accidental damage. We’ve all been careless enough to drop our phones one time or another, and it’s a gut-wrenching feeling to pick the phone up and notice a brand new unsightly crack across the screen.
Of course, making an iPhone completely bendable requires more than a flexible screen. Components will need to be retooled and repurposed for a bendable phone to make sure users don’t accidentally snap something important. In all likelihood, any development into making a reshapeable phone is going to delay a new iPhone from coming out this year.
With three new iPhones announced to be released in 2017 and the Japan Display screens commencing mass-production from 2018 it seems that we’ll either have a rigid bezel-less iPhone 8 this year or a considerable delay on release to help Apple create a completely different beast is created.