November 11, 2013
Is Apple Developing A Curved-Screen iPhone?
Brett Smith for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online
On Sunday, Bloomberg News reported that Apple is currently developing a curved-screen iPhone that can detect different levels of pressure. Citing an unnamed source at the California company, the Bloomberg report said the new phone will also be much larger than currently available iPhones and should rival the 5.7-inch Galaxy Note 3 that Samsung Electronics debuted in September.
The South Korean company is seen as one of Apple’s biggest competitors in the smartphone market and has prioritized the size of its devices as a major selling point. In October, Samsung unveiled the Galaxy Round, a curved-screen smartphone.
“Screen size is one of the things where Apple has to catch up to the Android camp,” Dennis Chan, an analyst at Yuanta Financial Holding Co. in Taipei, told Bloomberg. “Innovation in components has been a key for Apple since the first iPhone came out.”
According to a Bloomberg analysis, Apple’s traditional holiday sale season may be the slowest since 2008. Meanwhile, Samsung announced last month it expects a slight dip in the growth of its shipping rate from the prior period.
Besides a screen size and shape, Apple is reportedly working on pressure sensors for its devices, which could be a more interesting development for users satisfied with the current screen size of the iPhone. This type of functionality would improve drawing and writing applications on the iPhone and iPad, according to TechCrunch’s Darrell Etherington.
“Apple could sell the devices as professional-level artistic devices if it introduces those kinds of features, in addition to just making things better for everyday users who want to jot notes and doodle, for example, or perform minor photo touch-ups,” Etherington wrote.
According to the Bloomberg source, Apple is currently testing the pressure-sensitive technology, which will probably not be included in the next iPhone. Apple’s development of a curved screen and sensor technology continues its trend of producing new technologies via working with suppliers. The groundbreaking touchscreen on the original iPhone, was developed with Taipei-based TPK Holding Co.
“Apple’s iPhone joining the ranks of bigger-screened devices definitely makes sense as a next move for the lineup, but curved glass manufacturing also seems quite expensive at this point for Apple to be considering launching two new devices with that feature at once,” Etherington wrote.
Last week, Apple announced it will open a new plant in Arizona that will be making components for its current devices. The New Hampshire company GT Advanced Technologies said Apple will spend almost $580 million for furnaces to make sapphire materials used in its devices.
Samsung revealed the curved display for the Galaxy Round at the Consumer Electronic Show earlier this year in Las Vegas. The phone boasts a 5.7-inch, 1080p HD display, one-handed operation modes, among other features. The phone also features a "roll effect" that triggers a glance screen with the date, time, missed call, and battery information when the device is rotated on its axis. The effect is said to work even when the home screen is in sleep mode.