iPhone 6 flexible display suggested via Apple job posting

News Paul Briden 10:04, 11 Apr 2013

An official Apple job ad shows the company's interest in flexible screens which could appear on the iPhone 6

A new job posting at Apple shows that the company is interested in developing flexible displays, a technology which could see use on the rumoured iWatch or the future iPhone 6.

The job listing describes Apple’s desire to recruit a display expert who will ‘lead the investigation on emerging display technologies such as high optical efficiency LCD, AMOLED and flexible display.’

The position requires someone who can ‘analyze the trade-offs between design, process, optical performance, and implementation feasibility.’

This suggests that things are still very much in the early stages of development. In recent weeks, Apple registered a patent for a new iPhone design which included a curved display which may utilise flexible screen technology.

Since then, pictures which allegedly showed the device appeared online, but it seems likely these were renders based on the patents.

The idea of this flexible display technology appearing on the iPhone 6 assumes that the next immediate model, rumoured for launch in the Summer, will be the iPhone 5S. A selection of current rumours support this theory, claiming that the next iPhone will be an incremental update with a focus on interface re-design, new software features and services, an improved camera and a range of colour options.

Some sources have claimed that the following model, the iPhone 6, will launch in 2014 and will feature a next-generation A7 chip – if this is true, then that would give Apple plenty of time between now and then to develop its flexible display tech and, indeed, a whole new unibody chassis to house it.

Samsung is also said to be working on its own flexible phones with OLED technology and even showcased some dummy prototypes at CES 2013 in January.

Flexible display prototypes from various manufacturers have been appearing at industry shows for the last year or so now, but so far there has been nothing concrete on the horizon.

The general consensus from analysts about such devices is that, far from the idea of having floppy, foldable or roll-up devices the technology will allow handsets of a conventional build (ie: a display on a solid chassis) but with unconventional form factors.

Potentially that means more curved displays as well as possibly devices with wrap-around displays.

The other key advantage is one of durability, as such screens are supposed to be able to absorb impacts far more effectively than their solid counterparts. This would free up the need for sometimes heavy reinforced glass overlays.

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