A few years ago, this look of an iPhone would have been the most desirable on the market. Today, probably no one would like such a device.
Anyone who has been interested in technology for some time knows what each brand’s carousel looks like. Shortly before showing a given device, we are flooded with leaks to such an extent that we know practically everything about how a given product (usually a smartphone) will look like. However, after the premiere, when everyone is testing the capabilities of the new device, it is time for the “patent period” in which everyone lets their imaginations run wild about what the next step of the company will look like based on the scraps of information that are collected. Today it is not so clear anymore, but at the beginning of the second decade, when smartphones were something new and exciting, what the next model would look like was a great stimulus to creativity. I don’t know how many readers remember what the next iPhones were supposed to look like in 2013. I have seen renders that talk about a transparent phone, one with a whole front filled by the screen (probably the closest to the truth) or one that is made of glass. And this last prediction may come true in the future.
All glass iPhone. What is this patent for?
On the website of the US patent office, we can read about a new patent for an electronic device that is covered with glass on all six sides and that can display an image on 5 of them.
Moreover, according to the patent, the internal sensors of the device are to know how and from which side the user looks at the device and to match the displayed image to it, as shown in the figure.
As I mentioned, looking at this design, I have flashbacks from 2013, where this look of the iPhone would be the hottest sensation of all. Now, however, when, after many years, we as users have come to the conclusion that ergonomics and comfort of use do matter, I have the impression that the phone is made entirely of glass when it comes to justifying its existence. Remember that we even moved away from smartphones with bent screens on the sides, and concepts like Mi Mix Alpha remained only … well, concepts. There is no justification for a screen around the device in everyday life. This design offers virtually zero benefits, it is much less durable, and everything that it additionally allows (e.g. a selfie with the main camera) can be implemented in a different, better way.
I may be a malcontent, but I completely do not understand what Apple has such a patent for and what the company wants to achieve with an all-glass iPhone. Well, maybe apart from proving that the repair cost after the phone falls to concrete can be much higher than today.