Apple’s iPhone has a transparent glass display, according to a patent. 

The patent, which is called “a single slab” of glass, shows the device having displays at both its back and front, along with touchscreen buttons on the curved edges. 

An iPhone’s back could be fitted with a 360-degree display glass, which would potentially double its size without affecting the size or shape of the device. 

Two displays could be displayed on the device’s front and back. However, users can also have one display facing them in case they want to hold it in their hands.   

The patent suggests Apple is working on a device with displays on both its front and back, as well as touchscreen buttons on its curved glass edges. Pictured is an all-glass iPhone concept images, created by ConceptsiPhone

Apple could be developing a new device featuring displays at its front and back as well touchscreen buttons on the curved edges of its glass. ConceptsiPhone created these all-glass iPhone concepts images.

Images published by the US Patent and Trademark Office show the device that may be in development at Apple. The device would appear 'visually and tactilely seamless', Apple says, so that the entire phone looks like it's formed from a single piece of glass

Images published by the US Patent and Trademark Office show the device that may be in development at Apple. Apple states that the phone would be ‘visually and tactilely seamless’. This means that it appears as though each piece of glass has been used to create the whole device.


The backs of smartphones don’t get much use at the moment. The back of smartphones is mostly used for storage, which can be limited to components such as fingerprint sensors and cameras. 

The back of an iPhone could be equipped with a display made of glass. This would allow for doubling the size and shape of the iPhone without changing its dimensions. 

Two displays could be provided by the device. One display can face the users, while the other one faces the back. 

The new patent, granted by the US Patent and Trademark Office and listed on November 16, was first noticed by  Patently Apple. A future Apple Watch or Mac Pro tower could be made of all-glass sides.

MailOnline reached out to Apple for comments.  

According to the patent, “Conventionally, glass has also been used in such devices for providing a transparent window above a touchscreen on the front of the device,” the patent says. 

However, electronic devices that have multiple glass sides are described here.

“For instance, an enclosure with the general shape of a rectangle prism might include a glass front and back as well as one or more glasses sides. 

Apple claims that the device will appear seamless visually and tactilely, making it look like one piece of glass.

In fact, it would more likely be formed from multiple separate pieces attached together, using techniques that reduce the number and visibility of seams between different glass components. 

Apple suggests that the upcoming iPhone might not have any “top” or “front” visually distinct or dedicated to it. 

Users of the device could potentially keep a single display facing them even if they turned it 360 degrees in their hand

Even if the display was turned 360° in the hand of users, they could still have one view.

The future iPhone would still has curved edges, illustrations from the newly-discovered patent suggest

Illustrations from the patent reveal that future iPhones will still have curved edges.


Apple has reportedly hired a former Tesla software expert – a strong indicator that work is still progressing on its long-awaited Apple Car.

Bloomberg reports that Christopher Moore was fired by Tesla after he had a dispute with Elon Musk. 

Moore will report to Stuart Bowers (another former Tesla executive), the report states, citing insiders “with knowledge of this matter”. 

Apple’s project for a self-driving vehicle, codenamed Project Titan is not well known, but it is possible to hit the markets by 2024. 

Read more: Apple hires Tesla expert for its self-driving car project 

The phone would have six displays, the patent says – one for ‘each side of a six-sided transparent enclosure’. 

This may sound like a small glass container, but the shape of the device will still resemble one. 

These six sides are the front and the back. The remaining four will be the edges. 

But, the edges can also be equipped with glass displays. This will provide extra width, or show a stack of vertical apps that an user is currently using. 

For the critical changing port, speaker and other components to be housed on one edge of the frame, another would need to remain. 

The patent’s illustrations also indicate that the edges will be curved, similar to the iPhone 11 images in 2019. 

iPhone 12 from last year, and iPhone 13 2021 from the future are distinguished by their smooth edges. This is in contrast to other iPhone models that had curved edges.

Jony Ive from the British Product Design Department, Apple’s 1992-2019 employee, previously discussed the idea of an all glass iPhone. According to some reports, it was referred to as a “single slab of glass” in 2016. 

Ive was responsible for pioneering many of the company’s most iconic products, including the iPod, iPhone and iPad.  

Business Insider previously said that ‘big pieces of glass are somewhat of an obsession’ for Ive, who also helped design the Apple’s headquarters in Cupertino, California.

Former Apple chief design officer Jony Ive (left) and Apple CEO Tim Cook inspect the iPhone XR during an Apple event at the Steve Jobs Theatre in September 2018. Ive may have sparked Apple's work on an all-glass iPhone

Jony Ive (left), former Apple chief design officer, and Tim Cook (right) inspect the iPhone XR in person at an Apple event at Steve Jobs Theatre September 2018. Ive could have been the catalyst for Apple’s efforts to create an all-glass iPhone. 

Apple HQ is notable for enormous curved glass walls – some of the largest pieces of curved glass in the world, Ive previously said. I designed the translucent cover for the iMac G3, a hugely popular computer that was launched in 1998. 

The new patent shows that even though he left to establish his own design firm, his work on an all glass smartphone seems to be continuing.   

Last year’s report claims I had some involvement in delaying Apple’s AR glasses. They are not yet available for purchase. 

The AR headset was initially designed as a dependent device on an external device that resembled a Mac. It would transmit the information to it wirelessly and handle the majority of its processing power. 

Although it would make the headset more powerful, I dislike the idea of a headset that is dependent on different hardware. 


Apple is considering releasing an iPad the size of a car wheel – measuring up to a whopping 16 inches across, according to a recent report. 

Mark Gurman, an Apple journalist and trusted tipter, stated that the tech giant had ‘engineers, and designers, exploring larger iPads.

A screen up to 16 inches big could be available in ‘a couple of years’, Gurman said in a newsletter in June, but not likely in 2022. 

Apple iPads are about to get bigger, if a report is to be believed - blurring the lines between tablet and laptop

Apple iPads could get larger, if reports are to be believed. They will blur the lines between tablet/laptop.

For reference, screen sizes on the new fifth-generation iPad Pro models – unveiled in April 2021 – measure 11-inch and 12.9-inch.  

More: Apple’s iPad is as big as a car wheel. Read the report