The concept of folding screen is popular in the smartphone market, but Apple intends to “skip” this stage and consider a different approach. According to foreign media reports, Apple’s latest patent shows that it is developing an all glass iPhone with a touch screen, which can be used as a screen on any side to display information, application icons and images.
It also means that the phone as a whole supports touch sensitivity. The U.S. patent number of this patent is 20200057525, which is called “electronic equipment with glass case”. It describes a new iPhone that consists of a “six sided glass case.”. It still has a front screen or “at least one side of a six sided glass case” to display most of the control operations and applications.
Apple also filed a patent in November 2019, which described an iPhone with a surround touch screen, but its design is slightly different from that described in the latest patent document. Apple has also been working on flexible components, as well as possible folding screens. Traditionally, glass has been used in such devices to provide a transparent window on the touch screen on the front of the device. However, described herein are electronic devices with enclosures that use glass to define multiple sides of the enclosure.
For example, a shell in the general form of a rectangular prism may include a glass front face, a glass back face, and one or more glass sides. In some cases, substantially the entire enclosure (e.g., all outer surfaces of the enclosure) is made of glass, including the front, back and all sides of the enclosure. In this case, the shell may appear to be seamless visually and tactically, so that the whole shell may appear to be composed of one piece of glass (even though it may be formed by several pieces of independent glass connected together).
In addition to the aesthetic effect, all glass has display function. According to the drawings attached to the patent, apple is also considering using the edge of the phone to display information. There may be an app like icon on the plane that allows users to enter flight mode or Wi Fi with one click. Examples shown include complex features like apple watch, such as current weather information, or scrolling data from a stock app.
The physical differences between the front, back and sides of the glass enclosure may indicate functional differences in the touch screen or display area, corresponding to these surfaces.
For example, the front facing touch screen can display or define a main display area (such as a grid used to display application windows, games, and optional icons), while the side facing touch screen can display an auxiliary display area (such as revelation used to control electronic device functions, such as speaker volume, ringing tone, mute, screen brightness, etc.). An additional auxiliary display area may be displayed on the back, and the auxiliary display area may include contents different from the front or side.
This may mean replacing the hardware mute switch, sleep / wake button, or volume control with a touch sensitive area. Apple may use force sensing technology to allow users to squeeze the iPhone, telling it to forward calls to voicemail. Multi sided glass may display graphic output across multiple screens and multiple sides of the device, apple said. For example, a single displayed graphic output (e.g., image, user interface, etc.) can be wrapped or extended on the front side, one or more peripheral sides, and the back side of the device, thereby contributing to a uniform appearance of the multiple sides.
Lei Feng believes that, at present, the screen size of smart phones has reached the limit, and the border has been basically replaced by the screen. No matter how big it is, people’s palms can’t hold it. And consumers are willing to pay a higher price for the large screen. Referring to the price setting of iPhone, the larger the size, the higher the price. As a result, manufacturers have a strong incentive to develop mobile phones with larger screens. However, the folding screen is a sword, but all glass around the touch screen is even more bold.