The iPhone 7 has not even officially been unveiled yet, but rumors are already swirling about the iPhone 8.

The iPhone 8 will be the tenth anniversary version of the Apple smartphone, and it is thought that major changes will be made, according to Patently Apple. By the looks of things the upcoming iPhone 7 will remain largely similar to the existing iPhone 6s, with Apple saving a major redesign for the 2017 iPhone 8.

iphone 8 curved wraparound display
Image Source: Screenshot / YouTube

Curved OLED display could be seen on multiple Apple products

Reports have already surfaced about the A11 chip design for the iPhone 8, and rumors about the inclusion of OLED display technology have also been heard. In fact these rumors have been bolstered by a new patent filing from Apple, which shows that the company is working on a curved OLED display.

The patent relates to a flexible OLED display with curved edges, and it seems that the feature could make its first appearance on the iPhone 8. However it is important to note that the patent does not just refer to phones, and the feature could be used on iPods, iPads, embedded devices in eyeglasses, MacBooks and wearables.

The patent is titled “Flexible Display Panel with Bent Substrate”, and was submitted in January. The US Patent and Trademark Office published it on Friday.

Apple could bring bent screen to iPhone 8

The text reveals that Apple is concerned about the visible surface of the screen. “To minimize the amount of the inactive border area of display #14 that is visible to a user, one or more edges of display may be bent,” reads the patent.

It is important to remember that a patent filing does not mean that a feature will definitely make it into production. Predictably Apple has made no official mention of the technology, leaving fans and analysts to speculate.

However there have been multiple patents filed this year which suggest that Apple may introduce a curved glass design for the iPhone 8. After what are predicted to be minor changes to the iPhone 7, the 2017 edition could bring a major redesign to Apple’s smartphone.

What will Apple do with the 2017 iPhone?

You may be wondering why the media refers to the 2017 iPhone as the iPhone 8, given that the 2016 version will be called the iPhone 7. After all, Apple usually brings out a slightly tweaked “S” version before making the jump to the next number.

However this time around Apple might skip the iPhone 7s. According to Barclays analyst Mark Moskowitz: “There might be no ‘S’ cycle in C2017. Our conversations with industry participants suggest Apple could skip the “S” cycle next year and instead jump to IP8.”

This could be because the company needs to make some serious innovations with the 2017 iPhone, assuming that the iPhone 7 is largely the same as the iPhone 6s as predicted. The high-end smartphone market is tough, and Apple recently lost its crown as the highest-selling smartphone maker in the key U.S. market.

The new number one is Samsung, which is working on a number of innovations of its own. There are rumors that the company is working on a dual-display unit for the Galaxy S8, so we could be in for some major innovations in smartphones after a few relatively stagnant years.

Here’s hoping that both companies can spur each other on to bring new, high-quality features to market.