Mobile // Mobile Devices
News
11/11/2013
09:14 AM
Connect Directly
RSS
E-Mail
50%
50%
Repost This

Apple Explores Curved iPhone Designs

Apple may release two iPhones next year that include large, curved screens, like the devices recently announced by LG and Samsung.

10 Epic iOS 7 Tips
10 Epic iOS 7 Tips
(click image for larger view)
The iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c have barely been available for two months and already reports of the next-generation iPhone are hitting the Internet. The latest suggests that Apple is looking to bring two large-screened devices to market during the third quarter of 2014, each of which will feature a curved display.

The two iPhones in question, according to Bloomberg, will follow the path set by Samsung and LG. Both companies announced devices with curved displays in the past month. Samsung introduced the Galaxy Round, and LG showed off the G Flex. Both of these devices are variations of earlier models. The Galaxy Round is similar to the Galaxy S4 and the G Flex is similar to the G2. Each uses slightly different technology to create the curved shape.

Apple's curved devices will come with screens measuring 4.7 inches and 5.5 inches, reports Bloomberg. If the report is accurate, this means Apple will be branching out into vastly new territory for its smartphones.

[ Learn more about Apple's latest tablet. Read iPad Air: First Impressions. ]

First, the size. Apple's iPhones have kept to relatively small screen measurements. The iPhone 5s and 5c, for example, have displays that measure four inches across the diagonal. The 5s and 5c are much smaller than competing devices, such as the HTC One, which has a 4.8-inch screen; the Galaxy S4, which has a 5.0-inch screen; and the G2, which has a 5.2-inch screen. Further, Apple's iPhone displays, while fairly pixel rich, don't match the 1920 x 1080 full HD resolution that the three competing devices all share.

Second, the shape. Apple's mobile devices have to-date been compact, with the small size and weight prioritized over fancy features. Moving to larger devices that switch from flat screens to curved screens would be pushing all sorts of boundaries for Apple.

This is particularly curious given that phones with curved displays are anything but popular. Samsung has openly admitted that the Galaxy Round is a prototype. It retails for about $1,000 in Samsung's home market of Korea. There's no word if it will ever be sold in the US. Same for LG's device. These are the first two mass market devices to ship with curved screens. They are so new, neither has had a chance to succeed or fail yet. They could both fall flat on their faces, leaving Apple's move to curved displays a dangerous gambit. Samsung and LG say that the curved phones are more comfortable to hold and fit human faces better, but these are specious claims for the moment.

Bloomberg also reports that Apple is exploring screens that are more sensitive to pressure. Such displays could be more useful when interacting with certain types of applications, such as handwriting recognition. Bloomberg says the new sensors aren't far enough along to be included in next year's iPhones, though.

There's no doubt that Apple can no longer stick with small-screened devices. Whatever features are included in the 2014-era iPhones, they need to include bigger screens in order to compete with Android smartphones and Windows Phones, each of which offer devices with screens reaching six inches or more. Do the next iPhones really need to be curved? Not necessarily.

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
samicksha
50%
50%
samicksha,
User Rank: Strategist
11/22/2013 | 5:47:26 AM
re: Apple Explores Curved iPhone Designs
I am not sure if its rumor, but this how internet says phone looks like...Source: http://www.mouthshut.com/blog/fjhgqqonqm/Apple-to-come-up-with-curved-Iphones

Apple to come up with curved Iphones
Becca L
50%
50%
Becca L,
User Rank: Apprentice
11/14/2013 | 3:22:19 PM
re: Apple Explores Curved iPhone Designs
Kelly, I'm with you. I even think of my small, razor thin clutches, I'm lucky to fit in a phone minus a case without transforming the look. A curved phone will not do in this scenario!
Becca L
50%
50%
Becca L,
User Rank: Apprentice
11/14/2013 | 3:20:58 PM
re: Apple Explores Curved iPhone Designs
Great point about games, it may be something that requires a little getting used to. But a game with trajectory like Angry birds may always seem "off" with a curved phone
Thomas Claburn
50%
50%
Thomas Claburn,
User Rank: Author
11/12/2013 | 9:01:15 PM
re: Apple Explores Curved iPhone Designs
A curved screen is also likely to be far less appealing for games, which still represent the majority of app downloads.
Kelly22
50%
50%
Kelly22,
User Rank: Apprentice
11/12/2013 | 2:36:00 PM
re: Apple Explores Curved iPhone Designs
Even as someone who does carry a purse, I'm not sold on the benefits of a curved screen. I also fully appreciate the small size of the iPhone and hate the idea of upgrading to a bigger device that doesn't fit in a pocket - or in one hand. Apple can go ahead and expand their selection, but I'm hoping they keep smaller phones on the market too.
dinnes31201
50%
50%
dinnes31201,
User Rank: Apprentice
11/12/2013 | 1:47:44 PM
re: Apple Explores Curved iPhone Designs
When did it become mandatory for a man to have to carry a purse? Five and six inch phones do not fit in your pants pocket. If you really need a big screen, buy an iPad, but leave the iPhone a phone first and foremost.
Thomas Claburn
50%
50%
Thomas Claburn,
User Rank: Author
11/11/2013 | 9:39:46 PM
re: Apple Explores Curved iPhone Designs
So what exactly is the appeal of a curved phone? It's just going to be more uncomfortable in a pocket than a rectangular phone.
Building A Mobile Business Mindset
Building A Mobile Business Mindset
Among 688 respondents, 46% have deployed mobile apps, with an additional 24% planning to in the next year. Soon all apps will look like mobile apps and it's past time for those with no plans to get cracking.
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
White Papers
Current Issue
InformationWeek Government, May 2014
Protecting Critical Infrastructure: A New Approach NIST's cyber-security framework gives critical-infrastructure operators a new tool to assess readiness. But will operators put this voluntary framework to work?
Video
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
Audio Interviews
Archived Audio Interviews
GE is a leader in combining connected devices and advanced analytics in pursuit of practical goals like less downtime, lower operating costs, and higher throughput. At GIO Power & Water, CIO Jim Fowler is part of the team exploring how to apply these techniques to some of the world's essential infrastructure, from power plants to water treatment systems. Join us, and bring your questions, as we talk about what's ahead.