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iPhone 6 rumor rollup for the week ending Dec. 12

Curvemania, launch date boldness, Samsung nips chip slip

By , Network World
December 13, 2013 09:45 AM ET
iPhone 6

Network World - The iOSphere quivered with the knowledge that we are just months away from being able to caress Apple's first curved display, which will appear in the iPhone 6. This sure and certain knowledge is due to the fact that Apple just received a patent for a curved display.

Technically, it’s a patent for a way to form a curved display. But let’s not quibble with Innovation, please.

Also this week: bold predictions about when iPhone 6 will be announced, which when analyzed suggest that a bit more timidity is in order; and amazement greets recycled rumors that Samsung will continue to make A8 chips for the iPhone 6.

You read it here second.

Apple Inc. hasn’t officially announced the release date (or anything for that matter) of the iPhone 6. Rumors and media reports suggest that an iPhone 6 with a larger screen could hit the market by the end of 2014.

iPhone 6 will have a curved display because Apple just patented one

The iOSphere’s fascination with curved screens remains one of those inexplicable geek obsessions that instantly become Conventional Wisdom in spite of Common Sense.

AppleInsider’s Mikey Campbell apparently was among the first to see a new U.S. patent award to Apple, posted about. 

Campbell correctly described that patent as being for a “manufacturing technique.” In the words of the patent itself, it is for “A method of forming a curved touch surface.” But plenty of people interpreted this as being a patent for a “curved screen.” You can find Patent number 8,603,574 online, filled with fascinating details, most of which none of the posters (including this one) can explain, such as “Drive signals can be transmitted through the drive electrodes, resulting in signal (mutual) capacitances between the drive and sense electrodes at the intersection (touch pixels) of the drive electrodes and the sense electrodes.”

Rumors about curved screens for Apple devices have been circulating and recirculating for … well, it seems like forever. Sometimes it’s a display that curves outward (convex) or inward (concave); sometimes, it’s a display with edges that curve the edges of the phone. None of these rumors really bother to explain why a curved screen – of any type -- for a phone or tablet would be a breakthrough in the mobile user experience.

But CNET’s Jessica Dolcourt has a review of one of the few curved screen phones on the market today: the Samsung Galaxy Round. It’s a convex screen in a curved body

“I was surprised at how much I liked the feel of the Round's curvy dimensions, which make it the most comfortable phone that's ever cupped my ear, hand, and pockets,” she writes. So what does the curve add to the mobile experience?

The Round is a “bit more comfortable to carry, and sit on, in jeans,” and it’s a “sturdier platform for holding the phone.” The curve changes the way light reaches the eye in such a way, she says, that it “helps make [screen] reflections less distracting.”

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