Apple wins Patent for Future iPhones and Foldable iPhones with Touch Surfaces on the Front, Sidewalls & Backside
Today the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office officially granted Apple a patent that relates to iPhones with curved sidewall touch displays and foldable iPhone displays with curved sidewalls with touch capabilities built-in.
Apple's granted patent covers electronic devices that may have enclosures with walls formed from transparent and opaque materials. Display layers may be mounted under transparent portions of the walls. Touch sensor layers may be mounted under opaque and transparent wall portions.
The electronic device may have a front wall and opposing rear wall. Sidewalls may extend between the front and rear wall. The sidewalls may be flat or may be curved. The front wall and portions of sidewalls may be formed from a glass layer or other transparent member. A touch sensor layer and display layer may extend under the front and sidewall portions of the glass layer. A touch sensor layer may also extend under the opposing rear wall.
A foldable electronic device may have a flexible transparent wall portion that joins planar transparent walls.
In Apple's patent FIG. 14 below, display and/or touch layers may have curved shapes that match the curved profiles of curved sidewalls 12-4 and 12-1; FIG. 18 is a perspective view of an illustrative folding electronic device of the type that may be provided with display and touch sensor structures.
Apple's patent FIG. 27 above is a cross-sectional side view of an illustrative electronic device with two flexible portions to allow the device to fold along two respective bend axes; FIG. 28 is a cross-sectional side view of an illustrative electronic device with three or more flexible portions to allow the device to fold along three or more respective bend axes in accordance with an embodiment.
For more details, review Apple's granted patent 10,983,626.