Could future iPhones have an almost entirely wraparound display?

Close-up of phone screen

It’s a dramatic proposition; an iPhone with a screen that covers nearly the whole device. When you think of such a possibility, you will probably be put in mind of those phones with displays that appear to slope down the sides of the handset. Well, a new patent reported by the Patently Apple website seems to take this idea to its logical conclusion, with the display wrapping around the device in every direction.

The patent, published by the United States Patent & Trademark Office, has the rather dry title of “Electronic Device with Glass Enclosure”, which doesn’t exactly do justice to how revolutionary it would be if it was to appear on an iPhone anytime soon.

Patently Apple said that the glass enclosure and wraparound display cited in the patent would be six-sided, referring not just to the front and back of the device, but also to the top, bottom, left and right edges.

This would mean that even if the user was to look at the iPhone from a steep angle showing its edges, they would see a screen basically everywhere. That could present scope for those edges to be used to display further information not shown on the front or back screen, such as the time, the battery life, or the temperature.

And it’s not even just an idea that Apple seems to have reserved for use on an iPhone, given that those investigating further down the patent will also see images of what such an all-glass enclosure could look like on an Apple Watch.

Of course, none of this provides any guarantee that such a wraparound display design will ever see use on an actual iPhone you can buy in the shops. Still, it’s intriguing to see glimpses like this of how the imaginations of Apple’s designers are working, and what implications that could have for the phones we eventually have in our hands in the years ahead.

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