It’s Apple rumor season, apparently.
Earlier today, we wrote about some cheap iPhone images that were apparently leaked from Foxconn. Now, a brand new Apple patent hints at the future of the iPad — the immensely popular tablet devices.
One of the biggest issues with tablets is the bezel, the ugly, boring, border that’s on your tablet screen. It serves no purpose and detracts from the gorgeous iPad design. But, it seems like Apple is planning on changing that.[inline_share text=”Share this article!”]
In a patent that was granted to the tech behemoth earlier today by the US Patent Office, Apple may turn the bezel border into a second input mode, where users can use the touch-sensitive bezel. The bezel will even turn opaque (it’ll start off clear though) when the users touch is recognized.
There are a ton of possibilities with this new development. Game developers can turn the bezel into another input method, which can drastically change the way we play games on our tablets. Rewinding video could be as easy as running your finger down the side of the screen. Or, Apple could just make the bezel a second screen — with a permanent status bar and a dock, just like OS X. The possibilities are endless, as cliche as that sounds.
The problem is the cost: How much more will it cost to turn the bezel into a touch screen?
Apple’s profit margins have been falling precipitously, and that’s what led to Apple’s stock price tanking since September 2012 (they’ve lost billions in market capitalization). So, since Apple’s not making enough from their devices already, so how can they afford to basically make a table that is, essentially, entirely touch-sensitive? It’ll be tough.
So, therefore, I don’t really expect a touch-bezel to be on the iPad Mini 2 or the iPad 5. It’ll cost too much and really hurt Apple’s stock and standing on Wall Street. That being said, the patent and concept is too amazing for Apple not to include in a future product, but probably a year or two down the road.
To contact the author, email email@example.com.
Follow Ian Kar on Twitter.
Discuss on Facebook