Rumours about iPhones that are still years from becoming reality have become increasingly prevalent in recent weeks.
But one sticks out more than others: Apple’s apparent plans to build a large–screened iPhone and potentially use curved display tech as its headline feature.
It’s a juicy rumour, even if it needs to be treated with even more caution than your average piece of Apple gossip.
So, what do we know so far? Read on and we’ll give you the lowdown.
How did the rumours start?
A report citing ‘supply-chain sources’ in Taiwan claimed Apple is working on an iPhone with a 5.8–inch screen.
Slightly larger than the current iPhone 6s Plus, which features a 5.5–inch display, this handset has been mooted previously and tallies with other gossip about Apple starting a so–called iPhone Pro range of ultra high-end models.
Where does the curved screen come in?
The very idea of a 5.8–inch display-toting iPhone has been roundly dismissed by some experts.
But not everyone. Ray Soneira from DisplayMate, a company which analyses and tests smartphone screens, says those dimensions make sense for a phone with a curved display, one which didn’t have bezels along its side.
That means the curved iPhone could be a device not dissimilar to Samsung’s Galaxy S7 Edge, which is perhaps the most in-demand smartphone of 2016 so far.
Does Apple really have plans for one?
Well, a 2011 patent from Apple’s archives clearly shows that it has developed an idea for a curved screen smartphone.
It shows a phone with special inputs on either side, much like Samsung’s Galaxy S7 Edge.
On top of that, a report last year from Korea suggested that Apple was already working with partners at display manufacturers in the country to create the technology required for such a device.
Why all the rumours now?
Apple is said to be switching from LCD to OLED screen tech, possibly next year.
This larger screen would use the latter display technology, something which Apple needs to include if it’s to match up to the competition.
Samsung’s new Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 Edge already feature OLED screens and look far sharper and clearer than those found on the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus.
When will a curved screen iPhone hit shelves?
This is the 64GB question. The sources in Taiwan said the new iPhone could be out in either 2017 or 2018.
If Apple opts for the later date, then that would put it well behind the curve (ahem), with Samsung likely to be well out in front in the curved screen stakes by then.
An OLED iPhone is slated for release this year, although that phone is likely to have a standard, flat display.