RSS
Why the heck did Apple just file a patent for an iPhone with a wraparound screen?
Today in weird ideas

(via USPTO)

As part of its sinister ongoing mission to make your current iPhone feel old, dilapidated, and stupid, stupid, stupid, Apple has filed a patent with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office for a handset-size device with a wraparound display.

Yes, you read that right: An iPhone with a touchscreen that goes alllll the way around.

The eagle-eyed folks at Apple Insider spotted the patent, which covers a process involving inserting a flexible screen — possibly the same kind of Gorilla Glass offshoot being considered for the rumored iWatch — inside of a curvaceous, transparent housing.

The filing states that while the conventional form factor of today's smartphones, tablets, and e-readers "lends itself to electronic devices that are aesthetically pleasing and easy to handle," the solo-display set-up "inherently limits the amount of surface area to single surface." In other words, Apple really wants you to get touchy-feely with whatever this thing is it's working on.

Of course, the company files oddball patents all the time — take this magic glove system, for example — and we haven't a clue if this thing will even be built. That said, it's hard to imagine the utility of an iPhone or similar contraption with a 360-degree screen. (Maybe for this? Did Apple get wind that Samsung is working on something similar and wanted to get its patent troll on? Do people tap on the Apple logo on the back and get confused about what a screen is? Who knows.)

Besides, when's the last time you heard someone say, "You know what feature I'd really like on my next phone? Another screen on the back."? That's a trick question, of course, because no one's ever said that.

Chris Gayomali is the science and technology editor for TheWeek.com. Sometimes he writes about other stuff. His work has also appeared in TIME, Men's JournalEsquire, and The Atlantic.

EDITORS' PICKS

THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER

Subscribe to the Week