Apple working on iPhone with curved screen, phablet

Reports have surfaced over the weekend that Apple is working on curved screen devices, pressure sensitive screens, as well as a 5.5-inch phablet.

According to Bloomberg, the company is currently working on two smartphones featuring glass that curves downwards at the edges, which will probably be released in the third (calendar) quarter of 2014.

The report points to two models, with a smartphone featuring a 4.7-inch display and a phablet that uses a 5.5-inch display.

The devices would be much closer in size to the 5-inch display on the Samsung Galaxy S4 and the 5.7-inch display used on the Samsung Galaxy Note 3.

Both devices would feature screen sizes significantly larger than the small 4-inch display currently used on the iPhone 5s.

Apple is reportedly also working on pressure-sensitive display technologies, although these are unlikely to be ready in time for the launch of the next iPhone.

Last month, SmartCompany reported Samsung unveiled a new curved screen device called the Galaxy Round, while fellow South Korean tech giant LG unveiled its own curved-screen device, known as the LG Flex.

However, both devices are currently only available in South Korea, as a result of low yields of curved or flexible glass.

As of August, Samsung Display had a production line serving both rigid and flexible displays capable of handling 8000 1300x1500mm sheets per month, although even with an unrealistically high yield of 100%, this would only produce between 1 million and 1.5 million 5 to 6-inch panels per month.

LG’s capacity was even lower, with its plants currently handling 12,000 730×920 sheets per month, meaning less than 500,000 panels per month with an unrealistically high yield of 100%.

The new device uses two technologies LG’s sister companies – LG Chem and LG Display – put into mass production earlier this month in Plastic OLED (POLED) displays and curved batteries.

Unlike Samsung’s curved OLED displays, LG’s POLED display uses an OLED panel built on a plastic substrate, rather than glass.

It is unclear whether Apple intends LG or Samsung to be the display supplier for its curved screen smartphones, or whether it would instead to purchase from a different display maker, such as Japan Display Company.


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