iPad patent suggests a potential shift for front-facing camera

Ipad Landscape Camera Patent
Ipad Landscape Camera Patent (Image credit: USPTO)

What you need to know

-An Apple display patent could point to the next feature in future iPad design. - It reveals display with a camera on the horizontal, rather than the vertical edge of the iPad. - It would mean you could use your iPad's FaceTime camera more effectively whilst using the iPad as a desktop computer.

A new Apple patent could reveal how Apple might one day incorporate the iPad's front-facing camera in a default landscape, rather than portrait configuration.

The patent is titled 'Electronic device display with extended active area' and its abstract states:

An electronic device may be provided with a display. The display may be formed from liquid crystal display pixels, organic light-emitting diode pixels, or other pixels. The display may have an active area that is bordered along at least one edge by an inactive area. The active area contains pixels and displays images. The inactive area does not contain any pixels and does not display images. The inactive area may have a layer of black ink or other masking material to block internal components from view. The active area may have an opening that contains an isolated portion of the inactive area or may contain a recess into which a portion of the inactive area protrudes. An electrical component such as a speaker, camera, light-emitting diode, light sensor, or other electrical device may be mounted in the inactive area in the recess or opening of the active area.

The patent is a broad design patent covering many different electronic devices with displays including phones, tablets, laptops, and desktop computers. The possible clue to future iPad design is found in the above image within the patent. As you can see it shows what appears to be a tablet screen with a camera on the horizontal, rather than the vertical edge of the device. It also shows what appears to be reduced bezels with a notch, similar to the design of the most recent flagship iPhones.

Of course, this is just a patent and these are only example drawings, so this is no guarantee that Apple will ever turn this into reality. However, with Apple's further shift towards making the iPad Pro a laptop alternative, a logical step would include better camera functionality when using the device in landscape mode. Do you think the iPad Pro would benefit from a landscape camera setup? Let us know!

Stephen Warwick
News Editor

Stephen Warwick has written about Apple for five years at iMore and previously elsewhere. He covers all of iMore's latest breaking news regarding all of Apple's products and services, both hardware and software. Stephen has interviewed industry experts in a range of fields including finance, litigation, security, and more. He also specializes in curating and reviewing audio hardware and has experience beyond journalism in sound engineering, production, and design. Before becoming a writer Stephen studied Ancient History at University and also worked at Apple for more than two years. Stephen is also a host on the iMore show, a weekly podcast recorded live that discusses the latest in breaking Apple news, as well as featuring fun trivia about all things Apple. Follow him on Twitter @stephenwarwick9