New iPhones with curved screens might be coming next year

By: ABC News Email
By: ABC News Email
Apple filed a patent for a curved iPhone display back in March of this year. (courtesy United States Patent and Trademark Office)

Apple filed a patent for a curved iPhone display back in March of this year. (courtesy United States Patent and Trademark Office)

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New York, N.Y. -- Apple may be going from petite to plus-sized with its next generation of iPhones. Two new iPhone models are in the works, sporting curved displays as big as 5.5 inches, Bloomberg reports.

Patrick Moorhead, the founder of the tech analyst firm Moor Insights and Strategies, said that the increased size makes sense for Apple. "A lot of different factors go into deciding what kind of phone to buy," he told ABC News. "People want the Apple experience, but might be swayed because of a larger display, like the HTC One's or the Samsung Galaxy's."

Though the new screen size is a big jump from the iPhone 5s' 4-inch display, it's the curved shape that might be more noteworthy. Other smartphones, like Samsung's Galaxy Round and LG's G Flex, also come with curved displays, though Moorhead isn't completely sold that novelty alone is enough to sell phones.

"The jury is still out on how much value a curved screen adds to a phone," he said. "They might be easier to pick up, but I don't think many people are complaining about that."

But the iPhone's curved display may be different than its competitors. Earlier this year, the company filed a patent for an "electronic device with wrap around display." Apple's display extends around the edges of the proposed iPhone models.

When coupled with improved pressure sensors, which were also alluded to in the Bloomberg report, Moorhead said that the result could be a buttonless iPhone. "By curving the glass around the edges and making the display pressure sensitive, you can eliminate buttons," he said, adding that those commands could be mapped to a specific part of the display instead. "You can also put in programmable buttons and open it up to app developers to play with."

Moorhead suggested that whatever value a curved display adds to an iPhone, Apple will still likely keep the price of new iPhones the same. "Apple's been really consistent in their price-point," he said.

Apple did not respond to ABC News' request for comment.


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