iPhone 7 rumor rollup: Nixing those homely antenna lines; flexible displays on the way?

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I thought I very well might need a new iPhone after spending this past week in Delaware at the crazy Firefly music festival during which we had to be evacuated one night because of a tornado warning. But everything turned out well, my iPhone 5 is intact, and now I can take my time awaiting iPhone 6S and iPhone 7 rumors to morph into reality. 

No more ugly antenna lines on the iPhone?

Speculation swirled over the past week about Apple possibly ditching those homely plastic lines across the back of your iPhone…that you probably never noticed in the first place. But the plastic is practical: It allows the phone’s antenna to work by not blocking radio waves.

A patent application filing by Apple, as reported by Business Insider and others, describes the company’s development of a composite metal material that allows radio waves through but also looks just like the rest of your phone’s body. “The idea would be to give a device like an iPhone a fully metallic look without affecting the phone's cellular performance,” according to BI.

Of course, if your phone has a case on it, you might not even realize there are such lines on the back of the device.

Apple serious about OLED screens

The word out of South Korea is that Apple is seriously looking to move from LCD to more flexible organic light-emitting diode (OLED) screens for its future iPhones. Business Korea reports that according to “an industry source,” Apple could extend its use of OLEDs, which its watches employ.

“It is very likely that the first flexible iPhone may be introduced in 2018, as Apple's top-tier display suppliers are working on it,” the source said.

Picking up on this report, iPhone Hacks writes that it has heard plenty of Apple OLED rumors over the years and seen Apple patents that might indicate OLED screens are in the works. But it says that advances in OLED technology, including increased color accuracy, would make an Apple transition more likely now.

And as the Pocket-lint site explains, Apple supplier LG Display is changing over one of its LCD production plants into an OLED one. It’s all starting to add up.

Another Apple acquisition?

Apple’s been busy on the acquisition front this year, with at least 5 publicly announced and likely a handful more that Apple hasn’t deemed suitable or big enough to announce.

CNN is reporting that Apple now looks to have its sights set on Privaris, a Charlottesville, Va., biometrics startup that makes puny fingerprint readers and technology that can be used to do things like unlock office doors. According to CNN, Privaris has transferred more than two dozen patents to Apple recently.

CNN reports:

Privaris' patent portfolio is made up of fingerprint and touchscreen technology to make transactions, control machines, and back up personal data.

With all the speculation about how Apple is looking to boost Touch ID fingerprint recognition system and perhaps add Apple Watch-like Force Touch to its phones, such a buyout wouldn’t be a surprise at all. Except that Mac Rumors says Privaris as a company has looked pretty dormant in recent years (it hasn’t issued a press release, for instance, since 2009), so this looks much more like just an extensive patent portfolio transfer deal than an outright company purchase.

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