Motorola appears to be actively working on a smartphone with a wrap-around display, with the company publishing repeated patents for such a device.
It started in June 2020, when Motorola Mobility LLC filed a patent with the USPTO (United States Patent and Trademark Office) for a ‘Unitary pre-formed fascia tension at least two sides of an electronic device housing and corresponding methods and devices’. The patent, published on December 23, 2021, describes in detail the manufacturing process of a smartphone in which the housing is completely wrapped with a flexible screen.
In August 2021, the company submitted additional documentation related to the same device under the heading ‘Methods and systems for altering virtual button arrangements presented on one or more displays of an electronic device’. This patent was also released on December 23, 2021.
Noticed by LetsGoDigital, the patent describes methods dealing with the necessary virtual buttons e.g. detecting when the device is in your pocket, and automatically presenting a screen to you when you remove the device from your pocket, and creating virtual buttons where your fingers are.
The patent describes a device that is stylus-compatible, has a USB-C and SIM-card slot at the bottom and speakers and microphones on both ends.
We have of course seen such a device in real life, with Xiaomi releasing the Mi Mix Alpha in 2019. Of course at more than $2000 that device was not exactly affordable, but flexible screens have become a lot cheaper since then, so a flagship device by a company that wants to keep its name in the news may not be so unlikely after all.
The full patent can be seen here.