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 Roundup: iPhone 8

Top Rated Comments

(View all)
Avatar
53 months ago
I do not like Samsungs curved display.... Hopefully Apple has some different idea of ther own
Score: 40 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
53 months ago
Curved/wraparound displays are a gimmick and have no place in an Apple product.
Score: 31 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
53 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
53 months ago

So much innovation ;)

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

Top Stories

Apple Acquires Weather App Dark Sky

Tuesday March 31, 2020 10:22 am PDT by Juli Clover
Apple has acquired weather app Dark Sky, Dark Sky's developers announced today. Dark Sky is one of the most popular weather apps on the App Store, known for its accuracy and storm warnings. Our goal has always been to provide the world with the best weather information possible, to help as many people as we can stay dry and safe, and to do so in a way that respects your privacy. There is no ...

Apple's 2020 MacBook Air vs. 2020 iPad Pro

Wednesday April 1, 2020 2:45 pm PDT by Juli Clover
Apple in March updated both the MacBook Air and the iPad Pro, and with the iPad Pro increasingly positioned as a computer replacement, we thought we'd compare both new machines to see how they measure up and which one might be a better buy depending on user needs. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. We're comparing the base model 12.9-inch iPad Pro and the base model...

Zoom Accused of Misleading Users With 'End-to-End Encryption' Claims Amid Other Security Issues [Updated]

Wednesday April 1, 2020 2:47 am PDT by Tim Hardwick
Zoom is facing fresh scrutiny today following a report that the videoconferencing app's encryption claims are misleading. Zoom states on its website and in its security white paper that the app supports end-to-end encryption, a term that refers to a way of protecting user content so that the company has no access to it whatsoever. However, an investigation by The Intercept reveals that...

Case for Upcoming Low-Cost iPhone Shows Up at Best Buy With Alleged April 5 Stock Date

Monday March 30, 2020 4:25 pm PDT by Juli Clover
Apple has a new low-cost iPhone in the works, which is supposed to be launching sometime in the first half of 2020. Given the ongoing situation in the United States and other countries, it's been unclear if the device is going to launch within the planned timeline, but there are signs that it could be coming soon. We started seeing cases for the new low-cost iPhone back in early February,...

Apple Adding Some 2013 and 2014 MacBook Air and MacBook Pro Models to Vintage Products List at End of April

Wednesday April 1, 2020 2:24 pm PDT by Joe Rossignol
In an internal memo obtained by MacRumors, Apple has indicated that the following 2013 and 2014 models of the MacBook Air and MacBook Pro will be added to its vintage and obsolete products list on April 30:MacBook Air (11-inch, Mid 2013) MacBook Air (13-inch, Mid 2013) MacBook Air (11-inch, Early 2014) MacBook Air (13-inch, Early 2014) MacBook Pro (13-inch, Mid 2014)Apple defines vintage...

AirTags Referenced in New Apple Support Video

Thursday April 2, 2020 12:12 pm PDT by Joe Rossignol
Apple has accidentally referenced its widely rumored AirTags item tracking tags in a video that it uploaded to its Apple Support channel on YouTube today. The video was first spotted by the blog Appleosophy and has quickly been removed. The video was titled "How to erase your iPhone." AirTags were mentioned in Settings > Apple ID > Find My > Find My iPhone under Enable Offline Finding, with...

Testing Brydge's New Pro+ Keyboard With Trackpad for iPad Pro

Monday March 30, 2020 2:04 pm PDT by Juli Clover
Well ahead of when Apple introduced trackpad support in iOS 13.4, Brydge announced an iPad Pro keyboard with a built-in multi-touch trackpad. We have one of Brydge's new Pro+ keyboards on hand, and thought we'd check it out to see how it works with Apple's new 2020 iPad Pro models. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. The Brydge Pro+ keyboard is similar in design to...

Intel Unveils 10th-Gen Processors Suitable for Next 16-Inch MacBook Pro With Wi-Fi 6 and Turbo Boost Speeds Above 5GHz

Thursday April 2, 2020 7:53 am PDT by Joe Rossignol
Intel today announced the launch of its latest 10th-generation Core processors for high-end notebooks, potentially including the next 16-inch MacBook Pro. The batch of 45W chips, part of the Comet Lake family, are built on Intel's 14nm++ architecture. The new H-series chips have the same base clock speeds as the 9th-generation chips in the current 16-inch MacBook Pro, but Turbo Boost speeds...

Apple's Work on New Upcoming Products Progressing Normally as Employees Adjust to Telecommuting

Monday March 30, 2020 11:58 am PDT by Juli Clover
Apple's development of upcoming products is progressing as usual despite the fact that Apple employees around the world are working from home, according to a new report today out from Bloomberg. Apple is still working on new versions of the HomePod, Apple TV, MacBook Pro, budget iPads, Apple Watch, iPhone, and iMac, all of which could be released "as early as later this year" and have been...

2020 iPad Pro May Not Have a U1 Ultra Wideband Chip After All

Wednesday April 1, 2020 8:49 pm PDT by Joe Rossignol
While it was previously reported that all 2020 iPad Pro models feature the same Apple-designed U1 chip as the iPhone 11 lineup, enabling Ultra Wideband support, we have compiled evidence to suggest that this may not be the case. As a reminder, Apple's tech specs for the iPhone 11 and iPhone 11 Pro list an Ultra Wideband chip for spatial awareness, but the chip is not mentioned in Apple's...