iPhone Patent Filing Could Put Apple Back at the Top of the Cell Phone Food Chain
You know, an update here, and update there—each about as exciting as watching reruns of CNBC specials when the market is closed? Microsoft has it down to a science with Office. “In this exciting new update, we moved the page layout menu one spot to the left. Revolutionary, don’t you think?”
Apple has done it Microsoft-style with its last couple of iPhones. The company thought it could score a huge hit with a faster processor and a larger screen but the consumer wasn’t buying it. (Literally, if you believe all of the Apple supply chain rumors.) A new patent filing by the company might take the iPhone from, “that was so 2001” to, “I have to have it.”
Patently Apple reports that Apple filed a patent for a transparent iPhone. Among the possible features:
- A flexible, wraparound screen that allows the user to view content on either side of the phone.
- A larger screen. Emirates 247 estimates 10 inches—nearly double the size of the latest Samsung Galaxy S4.
- Two flexible screens can work together to present content slightly out of phase creating an illusion of depth, much like a 3D experience.
- Aluminum housing that gives the phone the look of being all screen and no body.
- No physical buttons. Users might hover their hand and move it up or down on the side of the phone to adjust volume.
This, along with recent news from the Wall Street Journal that Jonathan Ive is taking over innovation and development of Apple’s operating system, iOS could make for an iPhone 6 that’s clearly a standout in the crowded cell phone space.
Insiders point out that this patent provides strong evidence that Apple is heavily investing in flexible glass technology. Corning (NYSE: GLW) is the likely supplier. Apple has long been a user of Corning’s Gorilla glass which makes using its flexible Willow Glass an obvious choice.
Willow Glass is also said to be a key component in Apple’s rumored iWatch that could be released by the end of the year.
The stock is well off its highs, the “Steve Jobs took Apple with him to the grave” articles are all over the media, and Wall Street is telling Apple, “If you can’t do what you used to, give us our money back.”
If this is what Apple reveals at its iPhone 6 press event, Google (NASDAQ: GOOG) and Samsung will be calling some marathon design meetings.
Apple rumors at this early stage always overstep what actually ends up in the finished product but the patent application, complete with cool drawing, is a good indication that consumers will see this phone. But is it the iPhone 6 or a later version? We’ll know soon enough as leaked images of the screws used in the next iGadget proliferate and wow us all.
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