Apple iPhone 7 release becoming a monstrous affair with new flexible display, and more details

By Staff Writer

Apr 27, 2015 07:54 AM EDT

The iPhone 7 is going to be 60% stronger, without a 4-inch version, and may come out with a flexible display, as revealed on a leaked patent.

iPhone 7 will use Apple Watch casing

UDN reportedly suggests that Apple will be using the metal alloy that the company developed in the Apple Watch for the rumored iPhone 7. This will result to an iPhone 7 body that is about 60% stronger than its predecessor.

The rumor originated from the "existence of Liquidmetal, a technology for which Apple holds an exclusive license," Bostinno says. Atakan Peker, who developed the Liquidmetal, said in a 2012 interview that his invention is still being used widespread "3-5 years out." If this will turn out true, the next iPhone series would sport "a lighter, slimmer and stronger" body.

No 4-inch iPhone 7 this year

ValueWalk cited KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo saying that a 4-inch iPhone is not going to be released this year. Instead, Ming-Chi Kuo said the 4-inch iPhone version would be released in 2016, and will include Apple Pay support.

Further, Kuo said that Apple is going to stop releasing the iPhone 5c in the market, resulting to the iPhone 5s as the new "free with subscription" model. It was also noted that the iPhone 5s sales are still strong, and, a 4-inch iPhone in 2016 would "extend the momentum."

Additionally, the analyst pointed Foxconn as the primary supplier of the 4-inch iPhone 7, contrary to other rumors about it. Ming-Chi Kuo is said to have an "exceptional track record of predicting Apple's future products."

iPhone 7 is going flexible

A patent allegedly coming from Apple was recently leaked, suggesting that the iPhone 7 may have a flexible display. The patent filing is said to reveal the company developing a bendible screen, with touch-sensitive layers, and display covers for a future device.

Kuo's recent tip to investors seemed to agree with the patent. He said that Apple would include an "FPC-made capacitive Force Touch sensor" in its next-generation iPhones.

However, the Force Touch technology in iPhones would be different. It will directly detect "the pressure applied by fingers, the new improved Force Touch hardware will monitor the contact area where a finger presses to determine how much pressure is being applied. The sensor will use capacitive technology and thin FPC material to save space."

The "Abstract" of the leaked patent filing mentioned several flexible parts such as flexible housing, and flexible internal components (flexible batteries, flexible printed circuits, and others).

"A flexible battery may include flexible and rigid portions or may include a lubricious separator layer that provides flexibility for the flexible battery. A flexible printed circuit may include flexible and rigid portions or openings that allow some rigid portions to flex with respect to other rigid portions," it said.

Further, it also stated flexible displays that could be designed from "flexible layers such as a flexible display layer (e.g., a flexible organic light-emitting diode array), a flexible touch-sensitive layer (e.g., a sheet of polymer with an array of transparent capacitor electrodes for a capacitive touch sensor), a flexible substrate layer, etc."

Thus, a flexible display is going to be formed from a flexible touch-sensitive sheet having an array of transparaent capacitor electrodes for a "capacitive touch sensor." Kuo's statement of an "FPC-made capacitive Force Touch sensor" seems to agree with the details in the leaked patent filing.

Click here to see the patent images.

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