Larger 5.8-Inch OLED iPhone Screen Could Allow for Wraparound Display [Updated]

A DigiTimes rumor shared this morning pointed towards the possibility of a future 5.8-inch display in an iPhone, a significant size increase over the existing 5.5-inch display of the iPhone 6s Plus.

Rumor sites have expressed some skepticism over the idea of a 5.8-inch iPhone, but when looking at Apple's rumored work on flexible OLED displays and patents the company has filed, there is at least one plausible explanation for a 5.8-inch display -- it wraps around the sides of the device.

DisplayMate's Ray Soneira speculates that Apple could be planning to implement "folded edge side screens" on a future iOS device using a flexible OLED display. Such a display would fully eliminate side bezels on the iPhone and would also perhaps implement special buttons or gestures that could be used to control functions on the iPhone using the sides of the device.

Samsung offers phones that have a distinctly curved display with a side bar and its most recent device in that vein is the Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge. The S7 Edge curves downward at one side, providing users with a toolbar of apps. Soneira believes Apple's implementation wouldn't mimic Samsung's, perhaps using square sides as outlined in a 2011 patent.

galaxys7edge
The patent outlines an edge display that's an extension of the main front display, offering virtual buttons, virtual switches, or informational displays that supplement the main display. It consists of a touch-sensitive layer underneath a flexible display layer and in the patent, virtual side buttons have purposes like adjusting volume, or snapping a photo.

sidebarpatent1
In a second patent, Apple has outlined multiple possible shapes for an iPhone that would have a wraparound display, ranging from squared off to cylindrical, suggesting there are many possible directions Apple could go in should it decide to implement wraparound features like these.

iphone_wraparound_display_2
Multiple rumors have suggested Apple is working on flexible OLED displays for future devices, with the goal of debuting the first OLED iPhones in 2017 or 2018. In addition to enabling features like dramatic curves, flexible OLED display panels have other benefits, as outlined by Soneira in a recent display shootout covering the Galaxy S7. OLED displays are thinner, lighter, offer better viewing angles, and have the potential to be used with a much smaller bezel.

OLED displays also offer better color accuracy, image contrast, and screen uniformity, and Soneira believes in the near future, OLED products will be foldable and flexible for applications described in Apple's patents.

Because of their very flexible power management capabilities, OLEDs are not only more power efficient than LCDs for most image content, but they now deliver much higher peak Brightness than LCDs because of this. However, for mostly all white screen content LCDs are likely to remain brighter and more power efficient for a while. OLED displays can also be manufactured on flexible substrates, which allows the screens to be curved and rounded like on Samsung's Galaxy Edge and Galaxy Round displays. Right now the curved flexible OLED displays are protected under rigid glass, but in the near future OLED products will be foldable and flexible.

Apple's patents are not typically a useful way to predict the features we'll see in future products, but they do offer a look at the technologies and ideas Apple is exploring. Combined with the rumors that Apple has an intense interest in developing a flexible OLED display for future iOS devices, we can speculate that Apple is at least considering wraparound displays as a future iPhone feature, and today's 5.8-inch iPhone rumor is perhaps one more clue hinting at Apple's OLED plans.

According to Ray Soneira, side screens would be an ideal way for Apple to continue to iterate on future iPhones. "If Apple wants to be leading display innovation with a new OLED iPhone the side screens would really be the best way to do so," he said.

Update: When applied to the height of an existing 5.5-inch iPhone, a 5.8-inch display like the one Apple is rumored to be working on would leave an extra 7.25mm of display on each side that could be used to wrap around the edges of the device. This would extend the display across the front and sides of the iPhone, perhaps enabling side-based gestures and buttons.

hone
We don't know what shape an iPhone with side bars could take, but the rumored 5.8-inch size of the display is about right to add side panels to current-generation iPhones.

Related Forum: iPhone

Top Rated Comments

LouieTheLug Avatar
104 months ago
I do not like Samsungs curved display.... Hopefully Apple has some different idea of ther own
Score: 40 Votes (Like | Disagree)
orev Avatar
104 months ago
Curved/wraparound displays are a gimmick and have no place in an Apple product.
Score: 31 Votes (Like | Disagree)
thasan Avatar
104 months ago
Not a big fan of wraparound display. Another weak point in the structure for cracks. Also, don't see the point in how it could be useful.
Hope apple don't copies Samsung and instead, come up some innovative solution.
Score: 19 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Skika Avatar
104 months ago
So much innovation ;)
You mean speculation?
Score: 14 Votes (Like | Disagree)
b0nd18t Avatar
104 months ago
Lol really running with this completely speculative made up story
Score: 11 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Andres Cantu Avatar
104 months ago
So much innovation ;)
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Popular Stories

Beyond iPhone 13 Better Blue Face ID Single Camera Hole

Six Reasons to Wait for Next Year's iPhone 17

Thursday February 22, 2024 4:20 am PST by
Apple's iPhone development roadmap runs several years into the future and the company is continually working with suppliers on several successive iPhone models concurrently, which is why we sometimes get rumored feature leaks so far ahead of launch. The iPhone 17 series is no different, and already we have some idea of what to expect from Apple's 2025 smartphone lineup. If you plan to skip...
iPhone Notch

Apple Explored These Notch and Dynamic Island Designs for iPhones

Friday February 23, 2024 2:05 pm PST by
With the iPhone 14 Pro models in 2022, Apple introduced the Dynamic Island, which can morph and expand to display system alerts, sports scores, and a variety of other information. The feature makes the space surrounding the front camera and Face ID sensors useful compared to the notch on older iPhone models. Apple explored a variety of ideas for the iPhone's notch area over the years before...
General Apps Messages

iOS 17.4 to Add This 'Groundbreaking' New Messaging Feature

Friday February 23, 2024 5:05 am PST by
With iOS 17.4, set to arrive in March 2024, Apple is bringing a new cryptographic security feature to iMessage called PQ3. This "groundbreaking" and "state-of-the-art" protocol provides "extensive defenses against even highly sophisticated quantum attacks," according to Apple. Let's break down what that means. Apple's iMessage service already supports end-to-end encryption, but security...
cracked glass vision pro

Handful of Apple Vision Pro Units Develop Identical Crack in Cover Glass

Friday February 23, 2024 4:46 am PST by
A small number of Apple Vision Pro owners have claimed that their headsets developed a hairline crack down the middle of the front cover glass, despite having never been dropped or mishandled. Photo of hairline crack in Vision Pro front glass (credit: Reddit user Inphenite) The first report was posted in the subreddit /r/VisionPro about 18 days ago, and several more have appeared in the last...
New Macs iPads iOS 17 4

What to Expect at Potential Apple Event in March: iPads, Macs, and More

Friday February 23, 2024 8:35 am PST by
Apple often holds its first media event of the year in March, so the company could be just weeks away from announcing new products. Below, we have outlined what to expect from a potential Apple Event this March. Past Apple Events in March Apple has held five events in March since 2015:Monday, March 9, 2015 Monday, March 21, 2016 Tuesday, March 27, 2018 Monday, March 25, 2019 Tuesday,...
iOS 17

When Will Apple Release iOS 17.4 for iPhones?

Friday February 23, 2024 11:56 am PST by
Apple has been beta testing iOS 17.4 for nearly a month now. Below, we explain when the update is likely to be released to all users. In its press release announcing major App Store changes in the EU, which were implemented in response to new regulations under the EU's Digital Markets Act, Apple confirmed that iOS 17.4 will be released at some point in March:Developers can learn about these...
Next Generation CarPlay Porsche 1

Apple Launching Next-Generation CarPlay This Year With These New Features

Wednesday February 21, 2024 2:03 pm PST by
Apple recently updated its website to confirm that the first vehicle models with next-generation CarPlay support will debut "in 2024." This wording is shown on Apple's regional websites for the U.S., Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and many other countries. The iOS 17.4 beta includes code-level references to eight new CarPlay apps:Auto Settings: This app will let you manage paired iPhones...