The form factor of smartphones has not changed since 2007. However, why can’t smartphones utilize both sides of the surface rather than just one?
Better yet, why not make the surfaces curved, increasing screen real estate even more? That is exactly what Apple envisions in a patent from 2011, which describes a curved iPhone.
Some highlights of the patent include…
- losing the iconic home button and volume buttons
- “an illusion of depth perception” capable of “mimicking a 3D experience.”
- an AMOLED display
Such a design may appear on the iPhone 6 or 7, or maybe never. It’s a cool design, but one which is unlikely to give Apple a sustainable competitive advantage. If Samsung sees that Apple’s curved iPhone is selling well, it can come out with a curved phone of its own. So, although this is a radical design change, Apple needs to look to new frontiers, new products, in order to be the “think different” Apple it was under Steve Jobs.