Apple has filed a patent that details designs for an all-glass iPhone which would have a wrap-around display for images on both the front and back sides.
Glass appears to be the new black with the company also coming up with bold designs for its Watch and Mac products alongside the iPhone.
The design patent was filed last week, although that does not necessarily mean any of the ideas will come to fruition.
Apple has filed patents for an all-glass iPhone which could see screens on sides
Illustration of the all-glass iPhone is the most detailed, with displays on both the front and back together with functional touchscreen buttons on the side
The design is essentially an iPhone ‘within a glass enclosure’ with the buttons overalapping from the screen on the front
The glass iPhone is described as an, ‘Electronic device with glass enclosure’ although 9to5Mac dryly notes ‘It’s almost as if Apple has patented a glass box.’
The patent filing also include drawings which see some of the screen’s buttons curved along the edge of the phone including ones to activate airplane mode, Wi-Fi enabling, and controls for volume.
But the highlight is the filing which suggests the product would also have a display on the back of the phone, and not just the main screen on the front.
The lengthy patent filing goes into detail suggesting the device will have screens that run over the edge of the phone so that all six sides will have the capability to display something, or at the very least will be glass encased, with room for microphones and speakers.
Artist impressions over how the phone might look show it to have screens on all six sides
The back of the phone may also have a display which could show other people you are on a call
The glass iPhone looks familiar with its curved sides and rounded shape that fit in the palm of one’s hand
In the design patent illustration, buttons are seen to spill over the sides for ease of use
It might be hard to know which way is front and which is back with screens on both sides
The filing noted the challenges inherit in producing, ‘a device with multiple displays viewable through multiple transparent sides–including embodiments where displays are visible through each of the six main sides of the device.’
Apple’s filing also includes a drawings of an all-glass cylindrical Mac Pro tower through which the components would be able to be seen and owners would witness the processors in action.
The filing also shows pictures of how an Apple Watch may appear featuring glass enclosures with the curved edge of the screen blending seamlessly with the watch’s casing.
The filing also shows pictures of how an Apple Watch may appear featuring glass enclosures with the curved edge of the screen blending seamlessly with the watch’s casing
Apple’s filing also includes a drawings of an all-glass cylindrical Mac Pro tower through which the components would be able to be seen
Ideas such as a glass iPhone may never actually come to market with the design being more conceptual in nature.
Nevertheless, the fact such patents have been filed give some insight into what lines the company maybe thinking along when it comes to future products.
‘Apple will definitely head in this direction at some point, the questions being when and how far…’ tweeted tech Ben Lovejoy who looked at the patent.
Plans were also released for a glass encased tower for a Mac computer through which the components could be seen
The iPhone 13 just hit stores in September and has been so popular the phone needs to be ordered in advance.
Experts are already looking ahead to what the next iteration of the world’s most popular smartphone will look like.
In his latest Power On newsletter, Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman predicted the incremental tweaks to the iPhone 13 were to give Apple a chance to focus on a overhauling its design for the iPhone 14, expected in 2022.
Gurman was light on details on this overhaul but did say consumers should expect ‘new entry-level and Pro models and a complete redesign.’
Apple tipster Jon Prosser predicted the iPhone 14 is also going to see the iPhone’s notch ditched in favor of a room-saving punch-hole selfie camera.
Prosser, who hosts the YouTube channel Front Page Tech, claims to have seen renderings of the iPhone 14 Pro Max with the punch-hole design.
Earler this year Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo predicted the top-tier iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max would lose their ‘notch’ in favor of a punch-hole camera
Days after the iPhone 13 went on sale, Apple prognosticator Mark Gurman said the Apple iPhone 14 would see a ‘complete redesign’