Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) could be one step closer to some significant design changes. The Cupertino-based tech giant won a patent for curved touchscreen design.

Apple Curved Display

Details of Apple’s new patent

The new U.S. Patent No. 8,603,574 is called “Curved touch sensor.” It’s detailed as a manufacturing technique which provides curved touch surfaces minus the deformations from substrate warping. This patent can be used in a variety of technologies such as displays or touch pads.

Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) describes their patent in more technical detail: “A method of forming a curved touch surface is disclosed. The method can include depositing and patterning a conductive thin film on a flexible substrate to form at least one touch sensor pattern, while the flexible substrate is in a flat state. According to certain embodiments, the method can include supporting the flexible substrate in the flat state on at least one curved forming substrate having a predetermined curvature; and performing an anneal process, or an anneal-like high-heat process, on the conductive thin film, wherein the anneal process can cause the flexible substrate to conform to the predetermined curvature of the at least one curved forming substrate. According to an embodiment, the curved forming substrate can include a first forming substrate having a first predetermined curvature and a second forming substrate having a second predetermined curvature complementing the first predetermined curvature.”

Curved screens could have many applications

It’s not yet known if this will be featured in a consumer product such as a smartphone or tablet computer. It would be interesting if Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) decided to use these curved panels on their devices, especially considering their rivals LG and Samsung already have. The former recently launched the LG G Flex, a phone with a concave flexible display, and the latter launched Galaxy Round. Both phone models are part of a growing trend. Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) could be the next in line to capitalize this trend.