The world of iPhone speculation got a shot in the arm recently with the rumor that Apple is planning to launch a massive 5.8-inch iPhone by 2017 or 2018. This opens up a number of possibilities, the most interesting of which is a brand new wraparound design thanks to the extra display real estate.
To be clear, rumors about a curved iPhone have been around for ages. However, the possibility of one may just be real this time round. As per DigiTimes, Apple is getting ready to switch from LCD panels to an OLED one for the 5.8-inch iPhone. Samsung is reportedly going to supply the latter and may even be investing over $7 billion into the venture.
This is where things get interesting, since previous rumors have indicated that Apple was working on flexible OLED displays. Patents filed by the brand have hinted as much. A 2011 one sketches a screen which is an extension of the main panel, complete with virtual buttons and switches. Other patents have outlined a range of shapes for this from square to cylindrical.
DisplayMate’s Ray Soneira believes that Apple’s wraparound design will be unique from Samsung’s Galaxy Edge series of handsets. He thinks these side screens would help the brand lead the way in terms of display innovation, an area where it’s been lagging behind compared to its competitors.
As pointed out by MacRumors, another point in favor of a curved 5.8-inch display is the fact that when applied to the height of the current iPhone 6S Plus, there is an extra 7.25mm of screen real estate on either side which could be used to wrap around the sides.