Graphic shows how a future iPhone could look, with pointers to new methods of interaction and a heavy emphasis on gaming. Includes diagram highlighting expected triple-lens camera on the 2019 iPhone.


Future iPhone could feature wraparound screen

By Ninian Carter

January 9, 2019 - Recent U.S. patent filings by Apple show that the tech giant is considering a radical overhaul of the iPhone – one that could see the screen wrap around the device, front to back.

Apple says its share price is falling due to weak sales in China, but critics argue that lack of innovation is to blame – especially when it comes to its iPhone devices, which account for over half of the company’s revenue.

The latest iPhone XS and XR handsets are not selling in the volumes Apple hoped for, with many shoppers not wowed by the screen’s “notch” design or the fact that recent iPhones appear to be just tweaks of previous models – and expensive ones at that. The entry level iPhone XR starts from $749, with the top of the range iPhone XS costing a whopping $1,449.

Apple’s 2019 iPhones (due around September) are predicted to keep more or less the same form as their 2018 counterparts, albeit with a new triple-lens camera on the rear, so again risk appearing to lack imaginative new features. However, recently granted patents, and speculation from analysts-in-the-know, suggest an altogether new iPhone could be in development.

A cluster of 37 new and approved U.S patent filings suggest Apple is considering an iPhone with a screen that wraps around the entire device – covering the front, back and sides. Other innovations include enhanced augmented reality features and finger controls on the rear screen that would interact with the front display – possibly pointing to gaming being positioned front and centre. A recent Qualcomm tech summit claimed 51% of all gaming now takes place on mobile devices, with some 500 million online gamers in China alone.

Apple needs to do something radical if it wants to win back the hearts and minds (and wallets) of customers. Samsung is close to releasing smartphones with full-body screens featuring discreet holes punched through them for cameras and sensors, and even a smartphone that can be folded in half.

Perhaps an iPhone completely wrapped in a screen and tailored to the growing gaming community is the way Apple thinks it can win the day – even if it is probably a few years down the line.

PUBLISHED: 09/01/2019; STORY: Ninian Carter
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