Apple has filed for two patents concerning circular displays for wearable devices. The applications, made earlier today, indicate that a round-faced Apple Watch may be in the works.
Both of the patent filings are titled “Electronic device having display with curved edges” and outline the technological process which would be used creating such displays. Here is part of their abstracts:
“Display driver circuitry may supply data signals to the pixels using folded vertical data lines and bisected horizontal gate lines. Each folded vertical lines may have a first segment in a left half of the array and a second segment in a right half of the display. Curved coupling segments in an inactive area of the display may be used in joining the first and second segments. Display driver circuits may be provided in top and bottom portions of the inactive area to supply data to respective top and bottom portions of the array. Gate driver output buffers may have different strengths in different rows of the array.”
In essence, it appears that Apple is aiming to optimize the space inside the watch body through the use of a production method which involves folded and overlapping data lines – a technique which Apple Insider notes differs from common displays.
Patent filings don’t necessary reflect upcoming products or technology, however it indicates that Apple is at least considering the possibilities of circular watch faces. Both of Apple’s previous watches feature square displays while competing devices from Samsung, Motorola and Huawei have round faces.
The first Apple Watch went on sale in April 2015, while the second generation version was introduced in September 2016. A circular successor may not arrive until late next year, if at all.