iPhone 5 to get curved touchscreen: report

The iPhone 5 was originally thought to be shaped like the iPhone 4. But the screen on the newest Apple device could be curved.

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    The iPhone 5 is coming. The question is what shape the latest Apple device will take. Here, a user thumbs the screen of an iPhone 4.
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The iPhone 5 – or whatever the next generation Apple phone is called – could ship with a curved touchscreen display. This latest piece of iPhone scuttlebutt comes courtesy of the tech site DigiTimes, which reports that Apple has purchased somewhere between 200 and 300 glass cutting machines. "Those machines will be brought online once yield rates for the production of curved glass reaches a satisfactory level," DigiTimes says.

Curved glass screens. Well, obviously, this flies in the face of the conventional wisdom that the iPhone 5 will take a similar shape to the iPhone 4: Square, boxy, hard-edged. But it does match up – sort of – with an another recent rumor that the newest iPhone will get a curved, teardrop frame. So what will the iPhone 5 really look like?

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Well, since no Apple employees have yet left a prototype iPhone around a Redwood City bar, it's hard to say. But we do know that the iPhone 5 likely won't launch until at least this fall – originally, some analysts thought Apple could unveil the device earlier than that, to sync up with past product releases – which gives Apple a little time to mess around with hardware and software tweaks.

Over at Dvice, Raymond Wong speculates that if the iPhone 5 does get a new touchscreen, it could have to do with user privacy.

"In theory, a curved glass display could prevent, say, subway riders sitting next to you from getting a sneaky glance at what you're watching or reading," Wong writes. "The only downside to such a solution is that viewing angles would be largely diminished, as a curved screen would likely dim out towards its curve. But really, who's using their iPhone at such odd angles anyway?"

What shape would you like to see on the new iPhone? Drop us a line in the comments section. In the meantime, for more tech news, sign up for the free Innovation newsletter, which is emailed out every Wednesday.

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