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Future iPhones could sport flexible, concave displays for more drop protection

Apple has been granted a patent (number 10,931,802) for “electronic devices with concave displays” that think at future iPhones (and perhaps even iPads and Mac laptops) with such screens. The goal is to make the smartphone less susceptible to damage.

A concave display has a surface that curves inward like the interior of a circle or sphere. In the patent filing, Apple notes that devices such as portable computers and smartphones with planar cover glass layers may be prone to scratches and damage when dropped on a surface. Users can minimize scratches and damage from drop events using a protective case. 

Apple says that protective cases may not, however, be convenient or aesthetically appealing for many users. The tech giant’s idea is for its devices to be durable enough that a protective case isn’t needed.

Per the patent, concave displays may be formed from one or more flexible layers including a flexible display layer. The flexible display layer may be mounted to a rigid support structure or a rigid cover layer. Flexible display layers that conform to the curved shape of a rigid cover structure provide additional internal volume in which internal components of the device may be positioned.

Apple says that concave displays may also include touch-sensitive capabilities by stacking a touch sensor array layer on top of or under flexible display layers. Rigid concave displays may be formed from a flexible display layer, a touch-sensitive layer, and a rigid cover layer or rigid support structure. 

Dennis Sellers
the authorDennis Sellers
Dennis Sellers is the news editor of Apple World Today. He’s been an “Apple journalist” since 1995 (starting with the first big Apple news site, MacCentral). He loves to read, run, play sports, and watch movies.