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Apple patents a unique approach to a truly 'edge-to-edge' iPhone: tiny display holes

Posted: , by Daniel P.

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Apple patents a unique approach to a truly 'edge-to-edge' iPhone: tiny display holes
Apple is rumored to launch a surprise OLED iPhone with curved display this year, in addition to the more orthodox iPhone 7s and 7s Plus, or whatever they get named. The selling point of the OLED iPhone is allegedly an edge-to-edge display which would bring the phone's screen-to-body ratio to unseen heights.

So far so good, we even know that Samsung will be the chief supplier of flexible OLED panels for the phone, but what about the "all-screen," "edge-to-edge" part of the story? At the top bezel area of today's phones, we are used to seeing plenty of indispensable components nesting comfortably - the earpiece slit, the front camera, the light and proximity sensors, the notification blinker, and even LED flashes or iris scanners. Where will those go if there is no, or a very minimal top bezel?

Well, the recently announced Xiaomi Mi Mix holds a clue - it fits a 6.4" panel in a body more akin to a 5.7" phone by placing the tiniest selfie snapper that could be found at the bottom, using piezoelectric ceramic acoustic system for phone calls, and replacing the typical infrared proximity sensor with a sonar of sorts. Apple, however, might be going a step further, and instead of changing and rearranging those elements, puts them under the display package, with tiny empty spaces in the display ensuring access to them.

Yep, that is exactly what an Apple patent filing has unearthed recently - microscopic pores in the display packages that are near-invisible to the human eye, and, presumably, aren't going to affect the viewing experience. From there, however, we might be able to access sub-screen speakers, cameras or sensors, but how exactly would that work in practice, remains to be seen. The "holes" are depicted with different shapes and different positions relative to the screen's actual pixels, so they must be really, really small, and unobtrusive. This is a pretty radical approach, requiring an OLED display, as LCD screens need to have uninterrupted backlighting layer underneath the screen. Well, the rumored OLED iPhone fits that bill, so the Apple patent you see below may materialize soon enough.


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posted on 10 Jan 2017, 08:47 14

1. steodoreben (Posts: 358; Member since: 26 Sep 2013)


Now who's copying. Apple fans, including PhoneArena, will say: "Apple's edge-to-edge screen is revolutionary and not a gimmick. I'll rate it 9.8/10. Waiting for Samsung to copy it".

posted on 10 Jan 2017, 09:23 14

6. LebronJamesFanboy (Posts: 618; Member since: 23 Mar 2013)


I'm an Apple fan. I still think curved screens are a pure gimmick, but do look awesome. Note 7 is the sexiest phone I've ever seen, but the curves aren't practical.

If it's only "edge-to-edge" like the Mi Mix, this isn't gimmicky at all. Edge to edge is wanted.

posted on 10 Jan 2017, 14:30 5

39. Klinton (Posts: 770; Member since: 24 Oct 2016)


Edges on Note7 are NOT gimmick. They are smaller than GS7Edge, and the best design for holding and operate large phones.
They are mostly design feature for one hand use. But also better for many side gestures, than flat phones.

posted on 10 Jan 2017, 18:45 1

42. ibend (Posts: 6633; Member since: 30 Sep 2014)


and then iPhone7s with curved screen released..
and he'l; think that MiMix is gimmick, while note7 isn't, lol...

posted on 10 Jan 2017, 20:44 1

44. AlikMalix (unregistered)


I think mimix is so much better than edges in Samsung s6, s7, note7. I'd rather have a flat full screen than curved edges.

posted on 10 Jan 2017, 10:51 8

20. airoid (Posts: 66; Member since: 13 Dec 2016)


Nowadays, Apple is following the Chinese

posted on 10 Jan 2017, 13:21 7

31. trojan_horse (Posts: 4666; Member since: 06 May 2016)


And the Chinese OEMs follow Samsung.

posted on 10 Jan 2017, 21:41

45. AlikMalix (unregistered)


And Samsung follows Apple.

posted on 11 Jan 2017, 02:53 1

49. trojan_horse (Posts: 4666; Member since: 06 May 2016)


And Apple follows Samsung.

posted on 10 Jan 2017, 08:58 8

3. aegislash (Posts: 1023; Member since: 27 Jan 2015)


Since this is an Apple article, why not just say that Xiaomi fit a 6.4 inch display in a body nearly identical in size to the iPhone 7 Plus?

posted on 10 Jan 2017, 09:30 2

7. LebronJamesFanboy (Posts: 618; Member since: 23 Mar 2013)


Because the Mi Mix still has a larger footprint:https://i.ytimg.com/vi/pZ7TKtwFe3I/hqdefault.jpg

posted on 10 Jan 2017, 10:28 3

16. marorun (Posts: 5029; Member since: 30 Mar 2015)


The difference is minimal but screen size difference is major!

posted on 10 Jan 2017, 13:06

29. aegislash (Posts: 1023; Member since: 27 Jan 2015)


I said they were nearly identical, not the same size.

posted on 10 Jan 2017, 14:16 1

37. Klinton (Posts: 770; Member since: 24 Oct 2016)


Well but it's closer in size to iPhone7 Plus(5.5''), than to Note7 or Note 5 (5.7'') which have smaller footprint than iPhone7 Plus. Right?
So his remark is valid. The article mention 5.7'' phones though.
Why 'Since this is an Apple article, why not just say that Xiaomi fit a 6.4 inch display in a body nearly identical in size to the iPhone 7 Plus?'

posted on 10 Jan 2017, 08:58 7

4. ctdog4748 (Posts: 797; Member since: 05 Mar 2016)


But, but, but....Apple doesn't design anything! Apple doesn't engineer anything! All Apple will do is call Samsung and say "bruh we need sum knew faster chipz and sum dem OLED panels" and Samsung will say hold on a sec, and see what's available in the parts warehouse. This patent makes no sense. No Apple patent makes any sense, since everything part in Apples products is "off-the-rack".

posted on 10 Jan 2017, 09:15 2

5. maple_mak (Posts: 855; Member since: 18 Dec 2013)


Phil always said: "Innovation." ?

posted on 10 Jan 2017, 09:34 11

8. Plasticsh1t (Posts: 2064; Member since: 01 Sep 2014)


And #courage

posted on 10 Jan 2017, 14:09

36. nctx77 (Posts: 2374; Member since: 03 Sep 2013)


Samsung now has courage as the S8 is rumored to not have a headphone jack....

posted on 10 Jan 2017, 14:32 4

40. tedkord (Posts: 13872; Member since: 17 Jun 2009)


Rumored.

posted on 10 Jan 2017, 09:35 6

9. sissy246 (Posts: 3929; Member since: 04 Mar 2015)


Dumb post of the day so far.

posted on 10 Jan 2017, 11:11 3

21. tedkord (Posts: 13872; Member since: 17 Jun 2009)


He thinks he's clever.

posted on 10 Jan 2017, 09:44 5

10. Dr.Phil (Posts: 1623; Member since: 14 Feb 2011)


While you are correct in saying Apple will use Samsung displays and no one should claim Apple is being innovative in doing so, Apple does indeed engineer their own chipsets. The A10 is an Apple designed product, Samsung is the one that is contracted to manufacture it.

posted on 10 Jan 2017, 11:29

24. ctdog4748 (Posts: 797; Member since: 05 Mar 2016)


Apple didn't design the A10, all they did is ask Samsung for a chipset and then Samsung modified the existing ARM architecture to make Apple think they were getting something special.

posted on 10 Jan 2017, 12:44 2

26. mikehunta727 (Posts: 1057; Member since: 12 Sep 2014)


Utterly wrong. Apple designed the A10 all by themselves with their team of over a 1,000 people working on the SoC, Apple has been even making their own GPU drivers for the past few years. A10 is designed by Apple, manufactured by TSMC. Samsung has nothing at all to do with the A10, Apple has been designing their own SoCs based on modifying the existing ARM-v8 architecture

The A10 is indeed special and still is the fastest SoC in a smartphone currently till April and beyond

Apple's SoC team is ahead of Samsung and others at this time.

835 will only see a 25% GPU bump in perf, the 8XT powerVR series GPU that is going in the next iPhone is going to be a much bigger jump in both perf and power effiency vs the 530 in the 821 and the GPU in the 835

posted on 10 Jan 2017, 13:23

32. trojan_horse (Posts: 4666; Member since: 06 May 2016)


Post #24 was sarcasm... man.

posted on 10 Jan 2017, 13:45

33. ctdog4748 (Posts: 797; Member since: 05 Mar 2016)


No I have seen the light. Nothing is new anymore, everything simply exists. All that can be done in simple modifications. There is no new technology, and science has reached the pinnacle of discovery and can go no further. Especially semiconductor physics. Nothing new is left for mankind.

posted on 10 Jan 2017, 14:09

35. mikehunta727 (Posts: 1057; Member since: 12 Sep 2014)


couldn't really tell tbh but yeah he trolled me lol

posted on 10 Jan 2017, 14:20

38. ctdog4748 (Posts: 797; Member since: 05 Mar 2016)


Not trolling but helping you see the light. Nothing is invented anymore, it's all simply modifications. All OLED and AMOLED panels are nothing but modifications to work done by Kodak in the 1980's, so how anyone can think they can patent a mere modification is mind boggling.

posted on 10 Jan 2017, 18:32 2

41. mikehunta727 (Posts: 1057; Member since: 12 Sep 2014)


You need to help yourself before you attempt to help anyone lol

posted on 10 Jan 2017, 12:51 1

27. tedkord (Posts: 13872; Member since: 17 Jun 2009)


That's not true. It's an Apple design from the ground up, and bears no relation to any ARM processor ever. Every single part of it is unique, and nothing in it is in any other CPU in the entire universe. If doesn't even use ARM commands, it's just so advanced that it out translates pure thought that any computer today or in the future will understand.

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