If Xiaomi's insane Mi Mix Alpha concept seems familiar, this Apple patent could be why

If Xiaomi's insane Mi Mix Alpha concept seems familiar, this Apple patent could be why
As we told you earlier today, Xiaomi unveiled the Mi Mix Alpha, a 5G concept phone that features a wrap-around screen that the company calls a "4D surrounding curved display." Because the AMOLED panel wraps around the phone, the screen-to-body ratio is an unheard of 180.6% and there are no bezels. Virtual buttons on the side of the phone will replace physical ones and icons normally found on a phone's status bar at the top of the display are now moved to the sides. While some enthusiasts are already wishing that they can get their hands on the phone, the odds are that it will only be available in China in limited quantity. The price is expected to be 19,999 yuan (equivalent to $2,800 USD), even costlier than the Samsung Galaxy Fold and Huawei Mate X.

If a wrap-around display seems familiar, Apple received a patent back in 2015 for a curved screen that we might call a waterfall display today. The patent illustrations displayed virtual buttons on the side of the phone, similar to what Xiaomi has done for the Mi Mix Alpha. Last year, Apple was granted a patent by the USPTO for its application titled "Electronic device with wrap-around housing." Inside the transparent housing is a display; this means that the device imagined by Apple does have a wrap-around display. Like Xiaomi's concept phone, content can be viewed on any portion of the wrap-around display. At the time, we mentioned that an iPhone with a wrap-around display would have two user interfaces; one would be used with "the central portion of the transparent housing component, and a second user interface comprising a control input (would be used) through at least one of the peripheral portions of the transparent housing component."

Apple originally filed the patent application back in 2016. And no, we do not think that an iPhone with a wrap-around display will be available anytime soon. Keep in mind that the Mi Mix Alpha is still a concept and Xiaomi is only planning to produce a limited number of units at this point in time.

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