Apple Preparing Curved Glass iPhones, iPads for 2012 - Report

Glass industry sources believe next year will be all about curvy devices

Industry sources are giving away new information about Apple’s upcoming plans with its iPortables, namely the iPhone and iPad which are allegedly on track to get curved-glass designs next year.

Citing the usual sources with ties to the electronics industry, Digitimes reveals that 2012 will bring an influx of curved glass designs from numerous OEMs, including Apple.

In fact, the move has to do with the fact that Apple is getting too big of a head start in everything, prompting competitors to approach the consumer in radical ways, and many vendors seem to think curved glass is “the next big thing.”

The sources are unsure whether this trend will be long-lived. However, they’re confident Apple has already started work on the new designs, after reportedly buying specialized machinery for the likes of Lens Technology, Fuji Crystal, and G-Tech.

For example, the sources said Lens and Fuji are already focused on making curved glass for the next iPhone. G-Tech will mainly supply glass for a future iPad.

It is yet unclear how a tablet computer as big as the Apple iPad could benefit from a curved design, but this is the information currently circulating, so we’re passing it along for what it’s worth.

Sources in the glass industry said the touch panel sector will benefit greatly from the changes in the upstream cover glass production.

Suppliers of thin film touch, or one glass solutions (OGS) are the most likely to profit, said the sources, as they will be tasked with integrating touch sensors into the cover glass.

Readers should note that this recent leak (if even valid) does not refer to the iPhone Apple plans to roll out next, but to a future-generation device, perhaps the iPhone 6.

In this respect, iPad 3 may not be the first tablet to employ curved glass.

However, it should also be noted that Apple may not want to release yet another minor upgrade with its third-generation of tablets (as it did with the iPad 2).

The iPad 2 sold more on momentum, rather than its upgraded specifications. Chances are an iPad 3, slated for 2012 according to most analysts, could bear a radical overhaul.

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