A rumor was discovered this morning with a possibility of a larger 5.8-inch iPhone display, which would be a significant size increase from the 5.5-inch iPhone 6s Plus display.
Rumor sites, including us, have been skeptical about Apple releasing another iPhone with a new display size. However, with the rumor about Apple working on a flexible display this makes more sense as the display could wraparound the iPhone, making more sense for Apple to release a device with such a display.
According to DisplayMate, Apple could be planning to implement “folded edge side screens” which would allow future iOS devices to fully get rid of bezels with a flexible OLED display. With such a display, the iPhone maker could take advantage of the side bezels by having adaptive control buttons on the sides of the screen.
The current Edge line of devices from Samsung currently have a similar feature, which allows the user to have a customizable toolbar. The report says Apple wouldn’t copy Samsung’s implementation but would rather use square sides as shown in a patent from 2011.
The patent illustrates the phone as having a separate display on the side which could feature useful buttons such as virtual buttons, virtual switches, or informational displays that don’t draw the users away from the main display.
Another patent illustrates Apple testing out multiple display shapes for an iPhone that would have a wraparound display. Shapes ranging from a rectangle to a cylindrical, which suggest Apple could go many ways if it chooses to do a wraparound display.
Apple patents are never a good way to judge what the company is going to do next. As Tim Cook and Co. typically patents nearly everything that is created during testing stages, and only a handful of patents are actually used. However, it is a good way to indicate what Apple is testing in their internal labs.
Update: A 5.8-inch iPhone with a wraparound display could make a lot of sense on the Plus sized iPhones. If carried over properly, Apple would only need to add an additional 7.1mm to both sides of the display, that would take over the current bezels of the iPhone.
And while it’s still a rumor at this point it’ll be interesting to see if Apple ditches physical buttons on the iPhone as they will be covered up by such a display.