The bezels that surround the screen and those that run along the edge of the device may become a distant memory in the future. A recent suggests it Apple patent (the publication at the USPTO took place yesterday) which shows a smartphone characterized by detail body which contains the components: it is completely made of glass. There is no metal frame along the edges, nor a more or less pronounced notch like that of today's iPhones. There is only one device with 6 glass sides.
The solution imagined by Apple primarily has one aesthetic function: it serves to give greater homogeneity to the elements used to produce the smartphone – there is practically no continuity between the screen and the rest, because everything is held together by the single glass surface. The patent then has practical implications, since in the documentation it is specified that some areas can be made transparent to display the information of a display positioned below.
The applications are manifold: for example, secondary screens and / or touch controls with tactile feedback may be housed on the rear and along the side edges which take the place of physical keys; and again, the information on the main screen could extend beyond the front of the smartphone (see image above where the background is reproduced well beyond the edges). Not to mention the advantage from a purely aesthetic point of view compared to solutions that require the assembly of several different materials.
It must be said that the idea of ??Apple is not entirely new: extending the screen far beyond the limits of the front had been designed by companies that try to imagine the smartphone of the future – for example: Xiaomi with its Mi Mix Alpha concept or Oppo's patents. The Apple project is in some ways even more extreme, considering that the Cupertino house is imagining a product with an entirely glass outer shell (made up of several assembled glass pieces or a single single piece, the patent says).
Apple never takes the lead when it comes to launching an innovative product on the market, rather it waits for the technology to be mature enough to then make the best use of it. A smartphone such as the one shown in the drawings attached to the patent assumes, for example, important steps forward on the front of the cameras positioned under the display, which at present can not yet be defined as mature (see however the progress of Oppo) and probably the use of flexible screens which are also taking their first steps in the market.