Apple patent reveals all-glass curved display
While the iPhone 7 is expected to be a marginal update to the current iPhone 6s, Apple is indubitably looking even further into the future for its smartphones. Both Samsung and Lenovo have been experimenting with flexible displays and collapsible devices, but Apple may be working on its revolutionary design involving curved OLED panels for 2017 and beyond according to a patent from the manufacturer.
The patent was filed in 2011 and was not awarded to Apple until 2014. It describes a round display made of flexible material mounted under a glass layer that can be either transparent or opaque. While the original patent doesn't explicitly mention OLED, it's clear that OLED will be the only feasible panel type fit for the design philosophy. It has been widely reported that Apple is investing heavily on OLED panels for its future products.
Additionally, the design excludes physical buttons and switches normally found on the edges of smartphones as they are replaced by virtual buttons and sliders instead. The second image below also shows modular capabilities not unlike that of the LG G5. Nonetheless, this is only speculation as to what Apple may may unveil when it comes time to introduce the successor to the iPhone 7 in 2017.