Apple is apparently looking to release iOS devices having curved cover glass for first half of 2012, according to the latest supply chain rumors from DigiTimes. The publication claims that the Cupertino-based company has bought glass polishing hardware for its suppliers to improve yield rates, since the machines have a high capital cost..
Three companies have been identified supplying curved cover glass to Apple – Lens Technology, Fuji Crystal and G-Tech. In specific, Lens and Fuji focus on iPhones, G-Tech supplies mainly for iPad.
The report adds that the curved touchscreens may be the next big thing amid growing competition in smartphone space. Apple may re-designed iPhone for curvaceous look, like we’ve already seen on Dell Venue, HTC Sensation and Google Nexus S.
But, Apple will not be implementing a major design change until at least the iPhone 6. And if Apple adopts a concave curved screen, the new iPhone could look fairly similar to slender and curved design of the iPod Nano or Nexus S.
The contour display in the Nexus S (image above) is for reference only. However, the iPhone would not necessarily adopt the same glass frontage found in the device.
Both Apple and its competing vendors have already begun lining up for a first-half 2012 release of devices with curved glass. But there is no timetable available for when the curved glass has to be in mass production. If supply chain whispers are right, curved cover glass may be used by the company in future for aesthetic purposes (or ergonomic? What do you think?). It’s unclear from the report whether Apple intends to use a concave or a convex design.
Once again there’s no confirmation of any kind to those rumors, so it might all end up being science fiction.