A freshly discovered patent appears to show what Apple has planned for its 2017 iPhone. And the good news for tech fans craving a bit of novelty is that it appears to be a radical departure from the iPhone-maker's traditional–looking handsets.
Filed in April 2015, the patent shows off plans for a smartphone with a wraparound screen. Sporting an AMOLED screen protected by curved glass, the futuristic iPhone does not appear to feature any physical buttons.
Instead, users could potentially unlock the phone using specific gestures or via the company’s 3D Touch tech, already used in last year’s iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus.
There are no physical volume control buttons either, meaning sound would likely be controlled on–screen too.
The device does not feature any bezels (that's a design term for the plastic or metal around a phone's screen), meaning the new iPhone would be truly edge-to-edge.
The patent drawing shows Apple taking advantage of this change by placing five apps in the dock at the bottom of the screen, instead of four.
Apple’s main rival, Samsung, is said to be readying two devices with flexible displays for release in early 2017.
The Korean tech giant already sells the Galaxy S7 Edge, a smartphone with a curved screen which has proved hugely popular with critics and consumers.
Apple is believed to be priming a minor iPhone upgrade this year, with its focus shifting to an overhauled handset for release in 2017.