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Apple's Next iPhone Could Have a Curved Screen, Says WSJ (theverge.com) 155

Apple's 2017 iPhone lineup might include a model with a curved screen similar to Samsung's Edge devices, according to people familiar with the matter who spoke with the Wall Street Journal (paywalled). Apple's suppliers told the paper that they were asked to "increase output of thinner organic light emitting displays and submit prototype screens with better resolution than ones from Samsung." From a report on The Verge (since WSJ is paywalled): But with that in mind, the company is also reportedly considering more than 10 prototypes, so a curved display might not make it to market. We've heard this rumor before when it was coupled with the idea that at least one of Apple's new phones would include an OLED display.
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Apple's Next iPhone Could Have a Curved Screen, Says WSJ

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  • Why? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Fwipp ( 1473271 ) on Monday November 28, 2016 @12:24PM (#53378107)

    Why would I want my phone screen to be curved?

    • Clearly this is to make the device more slippery and prone to breakage. Which would then necessitate a replacement device. Another step in forced obsolescence.

      • No, the full glass case was designed to make the device both more slippery to hold on to and more likely to break when you drop it. I gave up and just always keep my S7 in a rubber case. The S7 is waterproof, but when wet behaves much the same as a wet bar of soap!
      • You jest, but it is far easier holding onto something curved than something straight.

        • Right, like a watermelon seed vs a flat slice of carrot.

          Everybody knows a watermelon seed basically sticks to your finger the grip is so good.

          • Right, like a watermelon seed vs a flat slice of carrot.

            Everybody knows a watermelon seed basically sticks to your finger the grip is so good.

            You are holding your phone like a flat slice of carrot?

    • by Overzeetop ( 214511 ) on Monday November 28, 2016 @12:31PM (#53378177) Journal

      Or a thinner device?

      Answer: because the other guy did it and you have nothing about your device which is better, so you must create a device which is "just as good" in order to compete. So you copy. Oldest trick in the book.

      • by Falos ( 2905315 )
        Answer to both: Headlines

        Pick a "new phone/flagship" review at random. The prelaunch kind, where they're at an expo/con and examine a unit.

        Right-hand-to-God they will, without fail, waste your time babbling about how hard the buttons press and click, about how the "texture" feels, about the physical appearance of the camera . Naturally they're eager to fill at least one paragraph about the exact thinness, and will secrete various sexual fluids about a curved screen.

        This is to be expected when you
    • Re:Why? (Score:5, Funny)

      by DeBaas ( 470886 ) on Monday November 28, 2016 @12:31PM (#53378187) Homepage

      To make it fit in the backpocket of your jeans. I do hope they'll have EU versions though....

      • Backpockets are the worst place to put things like phones or other electronics. if your front pockets are filled, empty one of those (handkerchief, keys, whatever) and put the phone there. Putting phones in backpockets and then complaining that they bend or break or undergo other deformity - that's like putting a metal bowl in the microwave and then being shocked when it sparks
        • My phone resides in my back pocket when I'm walking. I take it out before I sit down. Why put it into the front pocket where it's uncomfortable when walking, and leave it there where it's really uncomfortable when you sit down?
    • Also, would it be convex or concave?
      • Re:Why? (Score:5, Funny)

        by ShanghaiBill ( 739463 ) on Monday November 28, 2016 @01:00PM (#53378419)

        Also, would it be convex or concave?

        Convex. The main surface of the screen is still flat, but the edges wrap around, so instead of a bezel, you have additional touchscreen area. At least that's how it works on a Samsung Galaxy Edge. You get an extra row of icons down the side of the phone.

        My wife has a Galaxy Edge, and she likes it. When I try to use it, I keep accidentally clicking the edge buttons. She tells me that I'm holding it wrong.

        • by Rei ( 128717 )

          I googled the Edge and that was my immediate thought - "Wait a minute, aren't you going to be constantly accidentally clicking the edge buttons?"

        • Convex. The main surface of the screen is still flat, but the edges wrap around, so instead of a bezel, you have additional touchscreen area. At least that's how it works on a Samsung Galaxy Edge. You get an extra row of icons down the side of the phone.

          Maybe it works great in practice but that sounds like it would be super annoying as well as causing issues protecting the screen from damage. I can easily envision accidentally pushing "buttons" all the time. This happens enough and damage to the device might become intentional rather than accidental. Maybe it's great but this sounds like a "solution" in search of a problem.

        • Also, would it be convex or concave?

          Convex. The main surface of the screen is still flat, but the edges wrap around, so instead of a bezel, you have additional touchscreen area. At least that's how it works on a Samsung Galaxy Edge. You get an extra row of icons down the side of the phone.

          My wife has a Galaxy Edge, and she likes it. When I try to use it, I keep accidentally clicking the edge buttons. She tells me that I'm holding it wrong.

          I have enough problems with the power button where my thumb naturally goes and the volume control where my middle finger rests on the opposite side. Half the time I try to use the volume controls the power button depresses from the slight counter pressure. I still prefer my old Motorolas with the power button on top, where you have to actually try to hit it but not completely out of the way. I'll stay far away from these edge touchscreens I think.

        • She tells me that I'm holding it wrong.

          That's what she said.

    • Indeed! The Google Nexus S had a curved screen, and it was dropped because consumers didn't really like it. But I'm sure this will be magical because of the courage needed to re-invent a 7 year old idea.
    • I heard they were going to remove the screen completely and say it's courageous.

    • by MobyDisk ( 75490 )

      Why would I want my phone screen to have higher resolution?

      The iPhone 4 was >300 dpi. The iPhone 6 is >400 dpi

      • At one point adding more dpi was improving a phone, now, I doubt anyone can really tell the difference between the phone with the best resolution and one a pay grade lower.

      • I want a phone screen with 4000x8000 pixel resolution, but only because one could then insert it in a google cardboard-like VR device and not be able to see the individual pixels. Other than that, I agree higher resolution doesn't buy you much.
    • The Galaxy S7 selling point was so that you could read the edge of the screen while it was in a folder-type case. Or, you know, you could just use a case that doesn't cover the fucking screen! I think Samsung just made a curved screen to show off their flexible OLED screens, it's clearly a solution in search of a problem to solve. The real application for a curved screen is a watch that has a display that wraps all the way around your wrist, so that you can download a different bracelet pattern every day to
    • To match your curved TV?
    • Why would I want my phone screen to be curved?

      Because the WSJ needs to make money, and producing an article about future Apple products is always a good way to that, actual facts be damned. So stop posting here and go to the WSJ site to make their goal.

  • I keep seeing companies trying to make curved screens and I really don't get why. I don't see any obvious tangible way this would improve the utility of my phone. It was a useless "feature" in HDTVs and I see no reason why it would be any more useful in my phone. Does anyone have any idea why I should want a curved screen? What tangible and meaningful benefits would one provide? It seems like needless complication with no compensating benefit.

    • I am pretty sure this is just an aesthetic thing. I guess you can have some notifications along the edge of the screen which are visible from the horizontal plane but I am not really sure how useful it is. I see edge notifications as simply an excuse or justification for execs to buy flashy expensive devices.

      • I am pretty sure this is just an aesthetic thing.

        Edge phones do look pretty slick, but they also allow more touchscreen pixels without increasing the size of the phone, so there is some functional improvement.

        • Yeah, I already have a phone that triggers multitouch from the hand holding the phone, so that touching with my finger doesn't work. That's the other reason I keep it in a case, because without the case the screen is too close to the edges. The S7 edge would just mean I could never hold my phone without it thinking I was touching the screen on the sides.
    • "It seems like needless complication with no compensating benefit."

      That pretty much sums up the tech industry in 2017.
    • I agree that it seems like it would make the phone more fragile with minimal benefit, but a colleague of mine did like her phone with this feature as apparently then the edges of the screen, still being touch screen, are then soft keys for various programs.
      • For the price of these devices one would expect glowing reviews from their owners... cognitive dissonance.... I must be enduring this pain for a reason

    • because rounding corners doesn't go nearly far enough
    • I keep seeing companies trying to make curved screens and I really don't get why. I don't see any obvious tangible way this would improve the utility of my phone. It was a useless "feature" in HDTVs and I see no reason why it would be any more useful in my phone.

      It's useful in just one place, big-arsed monitors. You sit close enough to them that the curvature can be a benefit. In every other situation, they are dumb.

  • Apple has the interesting problem of not only having to design products, but often build them in quantities that stretch the limits of production for new parts / technologies. It's one thing to be able to build a few hundred thousands or a million or two; tens of millions is another matter. There have been several speculations that Apple hasn't built phones with OLED screens because nobody can make enough of them...

    • There have been several speculations that Apple hasn't built phones with OLED screens because nobody can make enough of them...

      Which raises the question why Apple isn't investing like hell in building and possibly owning capacity that they can then monopolize? If I were Tim Cook I'd be funneling some of those billions in reserve cash towards owning and/or controlling production capacity in OLED manufacturing in some fashion. The only reason I can think of that this wouldn't make sense is just that the profit margins might be too thin if they can't corner the market.

      • Donald.
        Onshore curved screen factory.

      • Because it's risky, takes years and takes expertise that Apple doesn't have. There are only a few foundries that CAN produce what Apple wants. Since they are a dominant customer, they have a fairly large voice in what gets produced without the risk of having a major investment screw up.

        Pretty smart, actually.

        • Because it's risky, takes years and takes expertise that Apple doesn't have.

          Apple doesn't have to have the expertise. They just play the role of interested investor. They have enough money they can easily hire expertise should they need some. They don't even have to actually own them to cause their competition a lot of discomfort. Just invest in companies working on the tech and get some special deals in return.

          There are only a few foundries that CAN produce what Apple wants.

          Exactly. So why not buy them up or make a "strategic investment" if they don't want to actually own them outright? Get what they need made and ensure that companies th

          • A lot of companies are afraid of taking TOO big of a contract from Apple.

            Apple has a habit of deciding to change and/or cancel contracts suddenly (and I'm sure they have an awesome team of lawyers to make it stick) after a manufacturer has dedicated an entire manufacturing line to making the (very specific) part for Apple.

            I worked for a company that made parts for Apple about 5 years ago. Apple kept telling us to knock down the price or they'd cancel the contract. Eventually we were selling to them at a l

            • A lot of companies are afraid of taking TOO big of a contract from Apple.

              It's reasonable to be cautious of taking on more than you can handle from one customer. Companies that deal with Walmart run into the same problem. If they become too big a percentage of your business then you are taking on substantial risk of being unable to refuse to take a bad deal.

              I worked for a company that made parts for Apple about 5 years ago. Apple kept telling us to knock down the price or they'd cancel the contract. Eventually we were selling to them at a loss.

              Then your company was managed by idiots. If the choice is between canceling a contract and losing money on every sale then it is a no brainer. If they ask you to sell at a loss you say no. This is true even if the custome

      • Which raises the question why Apple isn't investing like hell in building and possibly owning capacity that they can then monopolize?

        That's not how Apple works. They let other people do the basic research, and indeed usually let other people try out the new technologies, with the occasional notable exception like USB. (They were one of the first there, if not the first.) This has been working for them since forever. Someone else does something, Apple becomes aware that there is a market, Apple does it better (or at least nicer) and they sell product.

      • Too companies are leading the state of the art in OLED screen technology: LG and Samsung. Both Korean, and both way too big for even Apple to buy. Who do you think makes most of the parts for Apple in the first place? I'm pretty sure it's Samsung. Apple has a very strange relationship with one of it's main suppliers where they sue each other for patent and trademark "look and feel" infringement all the time.
        • Too companies are leading the state of the art in OLED screen technology: LG and Samsung. Both Korean, and both way too big for even Apple to buy.

          Samsung is (probably) too bug but LG had revenue of US$55B in 2015. Apple has nearly 5X that amount of money in cash and made $45B in PROFIT in 2015 alone. So no, LG is definitely not too big for Apple to buy if they wanted to and they certainly could offer to buy or finance the OLED technology portion rather than the whole company. Not saying that's a good idea but it's certainly something Apple could do if they felt the need.

          Who do you think makes most of the parts for Apple in the first place? I'm pretty sure it's Samsung.

          So why would Apple want to tie themselves to what is arguably their #1 handset

  • I'd prefer an unlocked bootloader. This Thanksgiving, I went down to some family members homes who live in the US for the holidays. Most of them used iPhones, I have a BLU device(s), there was one Samsung user. The Android users were maligned by the iOS users as using "Sheldon Cooper Phones". There seems to be a prejudice by some people using Android Devices that if its not an iDevice, it must be garbage.

    From my experience if it does use iOS, its garbage, as I can't get it to integreate with the rest of my

    • You use a BLU phone? You do realize that all your information is getting sent to China don't you? Yet you still use it?
      • I have Root, TWRP, AFWall+

      • I know someone who has a BLU phone as well. When that news broke, I sent my friend a note about it. They told me that they had already received a notification from BLU about the problem and issued a fix already.

        So... I think that is pretty much the best case scenario. A company learns about a problem, notifies their users and fixed the problem. Not sure that you could ask for more.

        • Amazing! Surely the best scenario is for the COMPANY NOT TO SEND ALL YOUR INFORMATION TO CHINA? Jesus, people are morons.
        • My unit turned out not to have one of the ones to have this particular issue. (I have root, I searched for the binary in question, it did not exist. I would have deleted it if it did.) I also have my Device's Rom imaged to a hard disk. If I have to re-image my device, and/or re-root, I can.

      • Everyone's information is going straight to China.

    • I had to look up who Sheldon Cooper was.

      It sounds like you were being complimented. They were saying that you have to be a genius to operate an Android device...

      • So after reading your comment I thought, OK, I'll look it up.

        I was really shocked to find out it means "nerd."

        Yeah, I've got the nerd phone. You know it is 2016, right?

        [roflcopter, stage left]

    • by sjbe ( 173966 ) on Monday November 28, 2016 @01:40PM (#53378761)

      I'd prefer an unlocked bootloader.

      Fair enough though I hope you realize that very few people care about this at all.

      There seems to be a prejudice by some people using Android Devices that if its not an iDevice, it must be garbage.

      There are really good Android devices but there are enough really bad ones to generate some snobbery by those who don't know any better. A huge number of Android phones are cheaply made Me Too devices that don't work very well, are poorly made, never get updated, and are comparatively a pain in the butt to use. Apple's iOS devices have their flaws to be sure but even the worst of them are still pretty solid devices. Far more variability in the Android world.

      From my experience if it does use iOS, its garbage, as I can't get it to integreate with the rest of my network infrastructure the way I can with Android Devices.

      How so? If you bought some Android specific hardware that might make sense but it's not hard to get iPhones to play nice with most setups unless you just can't be bothered. Perhaps you've tied yourself too tightly to Google's ecosystem?

      A way to fix this would be Android Phones that cosmetically look like iPhones. Or having the option to put Android on an iPhone.

      How would making a Android phone that looks like an iPhone fix any network integration issues? What would be the point of that? You're talking about aesthetics, not function.

      • I use OwnCloud, eGroupware, F-Droid, OsMand, Kore/Kodi, XMPP and a bunch of other stuff. I don't want my Phone syncing with servers other than mine or reporting location or software information to anyone. My phones do what I say, and derive location info based on GPS and Passive Beaconing.

        • I use OwnCloud, eGroupware, F-Droid, OsMand, Kore/Kodi, XMPP and a bunch of other stuff. I don't want my Phone syncing with servers other than mine or reporting location or software information to anyone.

          You didn't answer the question. If you don't want to be tracked I can respect that. Just put the phone down and I assure you that you can exist comfortably without it. The notion that you can own a phone connected to the INTERNET that does not reveal any information about you is frankly absurd. Especially when you didn't write or review most of the code on that device. Furthermore the device you indicated you use is KNOWN to have reported data and you have zero way to know if the hardware isn't still d

  • by 110010001000 ( 697113 ) on Monday November 28, 2016 @12:33PM (#53378199) Homepage Journal
    Any ideas on when the iPhone 8 will be released? My iPhone 7 is getting pretty dated. It will go in the garbage as soon as the 8 is out!
    • You may already be behind the curve if you haven't staked out our spot in line at your nearest Apple Store... Could you live with knowing you got your new iPhone perhaps as late as 6 to 8 hours after it was released?
      • Exactly what is wrong with our country: the lines at the Apple store are longer than the lines at the polling places.
        • What lines at the polling place?

        • You don't understand. Voting is just something that comes around every 4 years for old people to do, and you can always protest if it doesn't go the way you wished (you don't have to actually vote to be able to protest, however). But an iPhone? That's a yearly gift-from-on-high and is something that affects the masses EVERY SINGLE DAY. Your priorities are out-of-whack if you think iPhones are less important than voting...

          Do I really need the /sarc tag?

        • First people like you tell us to vote with our wallets, then you complain when we do. Make up your mind!

    • Any ideas on when the iPhone 8 will be released? My iPhone 7 is getting pretty dated. It will go in the garbage as soon as the 8 is out!

      Slow up there. It's not that easy. Apple haven't even decided what the next big killer feature will be yet. Popular options being presented to management right now:
      - Remove screen
      - Remove lightning connector
      - Remove microphone
      - Remove speaker

      One of these things need to go. Based on the feedback we received from from customers (people are really making good use of the barometer, and the chicks absolutely love the vibrator .. err I mean haptic feedback engine), the iPhone 8 will include a Geiger counter, and

  • Isn't it bad enough that one of the most common repairs on a $700 phone is a glass replacement? I know most techies won't even try, but the process of delaminating and scraping glass off or of unsealing the chassis to do a Display Assembly swap is obnoxious enough even for people who know what they're doing. I've done it a few times but I wouldn't even touch a Galaxy Edge device; I don't think I could ever get the fit close enough.

    Apple is the exact poster child for repair-hostility, but not everyone lives

    • They don't delaminate the glass, they replace the whole touchscreen. That just requires desoldering and resoldering the huge flex circuit connection. I suppose they need to unglue the old touchscreen and glue the new one in too.
  • This counts as "innovative" now? Steve Jobs is spinning in his grave. Between this, removing the headphone jack and replacing it with $149 wireless earbuds, and a host of other unnecessary mediocrity, Apple is doings its best to fuck up its cash cow.
  • How about adding a headphone jack to it?

  • Heavy butt (Score:5, Funny)

    by Tablizer ( 95088 ) on Monday November 28, 2016 @12:55PM (#53378369) Journal

    My iPhone had a curved screen. It wasn't intentional, though.

    • Maybe you could get a job in an Apple store as a phone curver; bring a job back from China.

    • My iPhone had a curved screen. It wasn't intentional, though.

      Yes but the curve isn't smooth enough, Apple seeks to remedy this.

  • Did everyone forget #bentgate? Apple already has phones with curved screens.
  • If it's curved that's not an Apple, it's a Banana Phone!
  • I'm guessing that this is more of a problem for skinny folks who wear tight jeans. If they put a phablet in their front pockets the sides will jut out leaving gaps between the phone and thigh. A curved phone, one that's curved side to side as opposed to top to bottom, will lay close to there thighs taking up less space than the smallest, thinnest phone. But that's just my theory. I couldn't care less about curved phone or displays.
  • ...I have a phone with a screen that curves around and encases my entire body, and I move the ball I'm in around by taking steps. For some reason, when I watch en episode of NCIS in it, it looks all weird and distorted, though.
    </snort>

  • Wake me when they make one with a replaceable battery.

  • Organic? Wahey, that utterly meaningless marketing buzzword from agriculture has made its way to phones. In a way I should be pleased, because the absurdity is even more apparent. What in fuck is an 'organic' display?
  • The iPhone 8 has no jacks at all, not even a charging port. You'll receive one wireless charging plate with your purchase, which plugs into a USB-C port. Specially positioned magnets magically center the phone onto the charging plate.

    Belkin, Griffin, and countless other Chinese companies will unveil phone holders for cars that have built-in wireless charging. To make the phone even thinner, no screws will be used. It will all be glued together.

    The next MacBook Pro will have a Charge Bar along with the new T

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