The Apple-following community is extremely excited at present about reports that Apple will release an entirely new smartphone in 2016. The iPhone Pro reportedly sports a larger display than any previous Apple smartphone release, with the new phablet-sized, high-spec device intended to target the business community in particular.
iPhone Pro OLED display tipped
Featuring a 5.8-inch OLED display, it is still unclear whether the iPhone Pro will hit the marketplace this year, or be delayed until 2017 at the earliest. This will seemingly be largely dependent on whether Apple indeed adopts the OLED technology that has been linked with the iPhone range in recent months, or whether the iPhone Pro is instead simply a larger and souped up variant of its existing handsets.
The suggestion of a larger screen will be particularly noticeable for fans of Apple devices, as those acquainted with the existing iPhone range will be wondering how Apple intends to accommodate such a large display. Apple has particularly prided itself on producing compact mobile devices that are convenient and flexible, and thus the iPhone Pro will potentially pose engineers with technical challenges.
Wraparound screen expected
However, it is expected that the iPhone Pro will feature an edge-to-edge display, employing a screen that wraps around the size of the unit. And analysts are already commenting and speculating on how this technology could be developed.
DisplayMate’s Ray Soneira believes that the usage of “folded edge side screens” will enable Apple to deliver a relatively compact iPhone Pro unit that also includes the 5.8-inch display reported. This technology would effectively eliminate the side bezel on the handset completely.
Soneira explains that this would also enable Apple to utilize some pretty nifty technology. The consumer electronics giant would be able to ensure that users can toggle certain controls in the iPhone Pro with what would be virtual buttons.
And the technology already exists in order to achieve this. Apple has been awarded a related patent from the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) which it had filed back in 2013. The filing details a curved screen which has the ability to make images appear as though they are coming from a continuous loop. This could be utilized to make a future iPhone in a cylindrical shape, while an all-glass handset could also be part of the future of the range, utilizing 3D Touch as opposed to the buttons that are present currently.
OLED and battery life
OLED technology offers Apple numerous advantages, but perhaps central to the corporation’s desire to implement the display system is the flexible power management capabilities that it provides. OLED displays are considerably more power efficient than the LCDs that Apple utilize currently, and also deliver higher peak brightness than LCDs due to their efficiency. This will be particularly valuable for Apple, as the Cupertino-based company has been somewhat criticized for delivering iPhone units with mediocre battery life.
In addition, OLED displays can also offer Apple the possibility of manufacturing the forthcoming iPhone Pro via flexible substrates. This would enable Apple to produce curved displays more easily, as Samsung has already achieved with its Galaxy Edge devices. Analysts have already predicted that future OLED devices will be both foldable and flexible, and Apple clearly does not want to be left behind in this department.
Aside from this suggestion, it has also been mooted that Apple could utilize square sides on the iPhone Pro, in accordance with a patent that it filed way back in 2011. This approach would similarly enable virtual buttons, app icons and other controls to be instigated on the size of the iPhone Pro handset. However, this particular design would not be connected to the front display of the device.
Clearly Apple has a lot to think about with the iPhone Pro, with the device intended to be effectively a new product release and revenue stream for the corporation. It seems that the iPhone Pro will be targeted at both the consumer marketplace and also the business community, and thus it must deliver a flexible package that suits several demographics.
It will be interesting to see what Apple finally produces when the iPhone Pro is unveiled, but it seems increasingly unlikely that this will be during 2016.