iPhone 5 to introduce curved-glass design?

Take this one with a 3.5-inch grain of salt, but Digitimes is reporting that Apple may introduce a curved-glass design in the next iPhone, which is expected to drop sometime this fall.

There has been a fair amount of buzz on the iPhone 5, and the latest being circulated around the supply chain in Taiwan is that Apple is going to adopt a curved cover glass for its next generation model

Apple has reportedly purchased 200-300 glass cutting machines for glass makers that they've stored in facilities until yield rates are at a high enough level to begin production. Apparently glass makers are reluctant to produce curved-glass for the next iPhone because of high capital costs, which is why Apple went out and got their own cutting machines

Various Android phones have used curved glassed before, and Apple has used curved-glass before in the previous generation iPod Nano, but this rumor goes against speculation that the next iPhone will be similar in design to the iPhone 4 with little aesthetic changes.

What do you think about a curved-glass design for the next iPhone? Sound off in the comments!

[Digitimes]

Andrew Wray

Andrew Wray is a Salt Lake City, Utah based writer who focuses on news, how-tos, and jailbreak. Andrew also enjoys running, spending time with his daughter, and jamming out on his guitar. He works in a management position for Unisys Technical Services, a subsidiary of Unisys Corporation.

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There are 45 comments. Add yours.

JD says:

It looks cool, but it's not a reason to upgrade.

Ilovegeorgia says:

The reason to update is the a5 processor. That in itself is a huge update 2x processing, 9x graphics, by now it might even be a bigger update for the iPhone then it is for the iPad.

Giuseppe says:

lol u realize that they wont be fully using the A5 till they stop supporting A4... Like now 99% of the apps are compatible with 3GS and thus not using A4's full potential.

Dennis says:

Given two-year contracts, current 3G and 3GS users would be the bulk of the people upgrading to the iPhone 5. I get what you're saying, but the point is that the next iOS upgrade will not be functionally usable on the 3GS, will slow down the 4, and will seem really snappy on the 5. Also, in general, an iPhone CPU upgrade is translated into partially into better performance and partially into greater power efficiency (because they won't max out the CPU, they'll underclock it). This will result either in a smaller body with equal battery life, a similar-sized body with better battery life, or something in between.

Viper83181 says:

What wod be the point? Anything other than aesthetic reasons?

Dood says:

wod - world of darkness. Darkstar I would assume that you would be familiar with such a place. For shame.

Binja says:

Exactly.
Apple does things for a reason. Especially ridiculously expensive things.

avd says:

There is absolutely no reason at all, except to change the look and feel. But when Steve Jobs presents it, he will give some cracker-jack made up response like "it's got new Retina-Curved display to help your fingers 'glide' across the screen with less friction" and the cult audience will say "oooh" and "aaaah" and the whole world will again blindly say "that steve jobs is a miracle worker".
that's why

dan says:

i want 4 inch screen roughly same size phone , ipad internals , and that glass backing would be pretty nifty.
then ill update

TK says:

I hope not, the Nexus S has a curved glass screen, it's ugly and pointless and it doesn't feel right in the hand, the pocket or while being used.

John says:

I'll hold on to my iPhone 4 as long as possible. I may consider iPhone 6. I have a friend who held out through 3 generations of iPhones before upgrading the iPhone 4.

Tweger01 says:

Holy crap, that's determination. I wish I could do that.

George Lim says:

I actually did that.
Went from iPhone to iPhone 4.

Binja says:

I would love to have that kind of patience. I end up upgrading halfway through each model. I tell myself I'm gonna hold out, but the new camera always lures me in. Going from iPhone 1 to iPhone 4 must feel incredible. The mild updates over time tend to give a touch of buyers remorse. I hope the 5 doesn't look like that mockup up there, cause I would give my first born for that sexy beast.

Tweger01 says:

I really doubt they would go with that form factor, I couldn't even imagine how frustrating that would be to try and text message on a table.

Jj says:

Seems dumb at first glance.
Another reason for less durability.
Work on something relevant, speed, clarity, video capability.

tuscanidream says:

Apple should make it out of a flat solid aluminum unibody. It's already small enough. Now just make it to withstand normal use, because the glass on my iPhone 4 didn't hold up too well.

noberrynomo says:

I'm with you on that one. I have dropped my phone twice, both by accident, that has left me with 2 chipped corners. If the next phone requires a case just to take it out of the house, then #4 will be my last. Can't see spending $300 for the phone, then have to drop another $50 for a phone case that totally hides the phone you bought for it's looks / performance in the first place. I don't understand the logic (or lack of) for Apples "thing" about having so much glass on the phone. The back could have been plastic and no one would have been able to tell the difference. Except when you drop it, and you wouldn't hear that glass breaking sound.

Fahad says:

Didn't like the fact of a smaller screen!! That would be annoying while surfing the web..

Carioca32 says:

If Apple has used it before, and if some Android makers are using it, how would that be Apple "introducing" anything?

eye4ni says:

Dumb.... I really don't see the hype in the curved glass. It was one of the reasons that the nexus s didn't appeal to me. This is just nonsense rumor crap anyway, as long as all of us keep clicking on these stupid stories, the stupid rumors will keep flying.

Shrike says:

I wouldn't mind flat glass on the back with curved edges so the bottom edges aren't so sharp. Curved glass in the front? Gimmick.

Dood says:

Go for the more natural approach Apple.
Make the iPhone 5 shaped like a potato.

Kanos says:

A curved glass screen is a horrible idea, these things need to be flat so they are not wobbling on a table on the time! Not to mention a front curved glass screen would be weird to touch and make it really hard to play games on.

jumpman2033 says:

Will not buy it if it has a curved glass back.

nickpthemft says:

Unless there's something particularly spectacular about the curved glass that I'm lacking foresight in, I think it might be the first iPhone that prompts me to NOT buy it...

jentino says:

Curved glass? Very stupid nonsense. What's next? Notification led? Lol. Curved glass my a$$.

mark419ny says:

who cares if it has curved glass or not. its just a gimmick to get you to buy another phone that doesnt do anything better then the 4 maybe slightly faster but really in nyc your lucky to get internet anyway. cant wait for iphone 5 so i can get the 4 cheap. then wait till lte iphone. only way i get iphone 5 is if sprint gets it . can you say 30% off your whole bill. i can . att only gives me 23% off of the plan and the data not the text .

johnnnnnymtl says:

as long as it has a good grip like the 3GS then its a good idea. i find that the grip in the iphone 4 isnt as good...

Giuseppe says:

Looks like im skipping this one like i skipped the 3GS...

Young Corruption says:

i'm sorry but that just looks ugly

FrankRow says:

I don't care what they do just give us a time frame. I want to upgrade now but I know the 5 will be out a month later if i do. Just give me the when, forget about everything else.

Dennis says:

The iPhone 6 will be spherical; and the iPhone 7 will be a four-dimensional hypersphere.

Greystone says:

The ONLY device that has a curved glass that looks beautiful (IMHO) is the Dell Venue Pro. I like the minimalism Apple uses. It's simple without being boring.

Ergonomic says:

I find the Dell Venue Pro screen too glossy and reflective.

msh441 says:

OK - So it appears that someone is looking at the RIGHT side profile pics, and assuming they are actually the left.
Flat back and curved glass front?
All along we've been hearing flat glass front (as always) and curved (possibly metal) back like the iPad 2.
Are we to believe everyone else had it backward this whole time? Not likely IMO. Apple like to keep some consistancy in their design language across the device spectrum.
Curved glass? No.

iPhone Apps Development says:

Wow iphones5 with curve display glass will look really cool. If this not a rumor, the next coming Iphone5 will be awaited desperately by the iphone users.

TJO3 says:

I hope they use curved glass for the back. I don't like the design of the iPhone 4. It just doesn't feel right in my opinion. I much prefer the iPhone 3G.

Anonymous_____ says:

What is the point of the curved glass?