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New patent suggests Apple could follow Samsung’s lead for once

Published Dec 19th, 2013 8:45PM EST
Apple Flexible Display Patent

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According to Patently Apple, Apple has received a patent for creating flexible sapphire displays using liquid metal. The patent describes wrap-around displays in various shapes including a hollow cylinder and elongated rectangle. They would be created by extracting a sapphire crystal seed from a crucible of molten liquid aluminum. The shape of the display would depend on the shape of the crystal seed. Apple has increasingly shown interest in advanced sapphire displays.

The iPhone 5s uses sapphire to cover the Touch ID sensor. This November, Apple bought sapphire display maker GT Advanced Technologies. For a while, there have been rumors that Apple will replace the iPhone’s Corning Gorilla Glass display with a sapphire display, since sapphire is virtually scratch-proof. While the iPhone 6 may include a sapphire display, the wrap-around display described in this patent is likely a long ways away. That doesn’t mean people wouldn’t want one; last month, a concept design for the iPhone 6 circulated featuring a very nice looking wrap-around display. And the flexible display could also be used in a watch, a product category Apple is rumored to be entering.

Of course, Apple wouldn’t be the first company to use curved displays on its devices since Samsung has already pulled the trick with its Galaxy Round, as has LG with its G Flex smartphone.