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.

Top Rated Comments

(View all)
Avatar
60 months ago
I do not like Samsungs curved display.... Hopefully Apple has some different idea of ther own
Score: 40 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
60 months ago
Curved/wraparound displays are a gimmick and have no place in an Apple product.
Score: 31 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
60 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)
Avatar
60 months ago

So much innovation ;)

You mean speculation?
Score: 14 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
60 months ago
Lol really running with this completely speculative made up story
Score: 11 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
60 months ago
So much innovation ;)
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

Leaker: 'iPhone 12 mini' and iPhone 12 Storage Capacities Start at 64GB, Pro Models at 128GB

Tuesday September 29, 2020 2:31 am PDT by
Rumors suggest Apple's iPhone 12 launch event will be held on October 13, with the more affordable 5.4 and 6.1-inch devices set to ship out ahead of the more expensive 6.1-inch and 6.7-inch Pro devices, and this morning hit-and-miss leaker Jon Prosser has further committed to that date by providing alleged details on Apple's first shipment of finalized iPhone 12 units. Prosser claims the...

Hands-On With iOS 14.2's New Shazam Music Recognition Toggle in Control Center

Monday September 28, 2020 2:35 pm PDT by
Shortly after launching iOS 14, Apple introduced an upcoming iOS 14.2 update, which is now available to developers and public beta testers ahead of a public release that could come at some point in October. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. The iOS 14.2 update mainly focuses on the Control Center, introducing a new Music Recognition toggle that deepens the Shazam...

Top Stories: iOS 14 Feature Tour, 'iPhone 12 mini' Rumors, Apple Watch Band Controversy

Saturday September 26, 2020 6:00 am PDT by
Things started to calm down a bit this week following last week's rush of media event, Apple Watch and iPad launches, and the release of iOS 14 and other operating updates. But that doesn't mean there wasn't still a lot of news, from digging deeper into iOS 14 to more iPhone 12 rumors to the uproar over trying to exchange band sizes on the new Apple Watch. On top of all of that, we heard...

DigiTimes: 12.9-inch Mini-LED iPad Pro Arriving Early 2021, Mini-LED MacBook Coming Later

Tuesday September 29, 2020 4:18 am PDT by
Apple will launch a 12.9-inch mini LED-backlit iPad Pro in early 2021 and a mini LED-backlit MacBook in the second-half of next year, according to DigiTimes. The Taiwan-based industry publication claims Epistar will supply the over-10,000 mini LEDs used in each iPad Pro tablet. Meanwhile, Apple is expected to recruit Osram Opto as another supplier of mini LEDs for use in a new "high-end"...

iPhone 12 May Launch Earlier Than Usual in South Korea

Monday September 28, 2020 5:24 am PDT by
The upcoming iPhone 12 lineup may launch earlier than usual in South Korea, reports The Korea Herald. South Korean telecoms firms speaking to The Korea Herald have said that the iPhone 12 lineup will launch ahead of its usual schedule. Normally, the release of new iPhones in South Korea comes about one month after launch in the United States. Last year, the iPhone 11 arrived in South Korea ...

iOS 14: 'Phoenix 2' Space Shooter Delivers Playable Demo via App Clips

Saturday September 26, 2020 2:08 pm PDT by
One of the new features that arrived in iOS 14 is called App Clips. App Clips is described by Apple to be a "small part of your app" that can be available to users at just the right moment.App Clips focus on finishing one task quickly. An ideal App Clip experience allows users to open and complete a task in seconds. Instead of requiring an App Store download, they can be loaded and run via...

Epic Games Unlikely to Win Injunction in Ongoing Fortnite Battle With Apple, Jury Trial Possible

Monday September 28, 2020 1:14 pm PDT by
The ongoing legal dispute between Apple and Epic Games continued on today, with a preliminary injunction hearing taking place this morning. We're still waiting to hear the judge's official ruling, but it looks like Epic is not going to be granted an injunction to allow Fortnite back into the App Store as the case unfolds. Many of the arguments that lawyers for Apple and Epic Games made were...

iPhone 12 Production Lines at Foxconn's Zhengzhou Factory in China Running '24 Hours a Day'

Tuesday September 29, 2020 3:38 am PDT by
Apple contract manufacturer Foxconn is running its massive Zhengzhou factory in China 24 hours a day to produce the new iPhone 12, according to Chinese media reports. Apple's main iPhone manufacturer in China is said to be cancelling workers' holidays and introducing mandatory overtime with additional bonuses for longer-serving staff, according to information garnered from employees,...

'iPhone 12 mini' Name Reappears in Leaked Apple iPhone 12 Case Stickers

Friday September 25, 2020 1:58 am PDT by
Earlier this week a proven leaker claimed that the iPhone 12 lineup would be named "iPhone 12 mini," "iPhone 12," "iPhone 12 Pro," and "iPhone 12 Pro Max," and today the same nomenclature has appeared again in a photo depicting alleged stickers from unreleased Silicone iPhone cases originating from Apple's international distribution center in Ireland. The photo shows three stickers with the...

Apple Releases iOS 14.0.1 With Fix for Bug That Resets Default Apps After Rebooting

Thursday September 24, 2020 10:12 am PDT by
Apple today released iOS 14.0.1, the first update to the iOS 14 operating system that was released on September 16. Today's update is a bug fix update addressing issues that weren't able to be fixed in the initial iOS 14 launch. The iOS 14.0.1 update is available on all eligible devices over-the-air in the Settings app. To access the new software, go to Settings > General > Software Update. ...