According to Bloomberg, Apple is working on an iPhone that has touchless controls and a curved screen.
“Apple Inc. is working on touchless gesture control and curved screens for future iPhones, projects that may help the company differentiate its most-important product in an increasingly crowded market, according to people with knowledge of the matter.”
The article adds that the technology may not be ready for another two years. And that’s a great thing. Curved screens may seem “cool,” but they cause more problems than they are worth. Most importantly, they don’t have any benefit over non-curved screens.
Curved screens not only have image and color distortion on the edges, but they create an excessive amount of glare. Samsung’s phones demonstrate this very well. Have you ever tried to watch a full-screen video on the Galaxy S8+ where there is a little bit of sunlight? Needless to say, it will make you squint since the edges reflect the sunlight. It’s also very difficult to play games when you have the glare from the edges making you squint.
For this author, the most difficult part has been finding affordable screen protectors for curved screens. Zagg and some brands have made some decent ones that cost over $30. However, in a day when tempered glass screen covers are preferred, you’ll have to deal with the curved portion of your screen uncovered. That makes the screen look even worse.
There were several rumors going around that said the iPhone X would have a curved screen, and thank God it didn’t. Even though the Galaxy Note 8 screen is bigger, brighter, and crisper than that on the iPhone X, this author still prefers to watch video clips on Apple’s device since the image isn’t interrupted. It also feels great to be able to put on a tempered glass screen cover on the iPhone X that covers the entire screen.
Of course, not everybody agrees. Napier Lopez of TNW believes that curved screens are more durable, more ergonomic, and actually beneficial to the software experience. No offense to Mr. Lopez, who is a great writer and definitely beneficial to the tech community, but he must not have a lot of experience with actually using smartphones that have curved screens.
Many on Twitter aren’t fans of curved screens either.
Some argue that Apple will find a way to make a curved screen work. After all, Apple has taken things that other manufacturers had failed at and made them work. But this author hopes Apple thinks about its customers first and realize that a curved screen will not differentiate the Cupertino-based company from the rest of the market.