Rumor: ‘iPhone 5’ to Sport Curved Glass Touchscreen

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File this slice of grapevine buzz under “what the heck for?” but it seems the latest ‘iPhone 5’ scuttlebutt has Apple’s next-gen iPhone packing a curved-glass touchscreen.

Today’s gossip-starter: DigiTimes, which cites “industry sources” as stating Apple just snapped up between 200 and 300 glass-cutting machines to make curved iPhone displays. Why Apple and not the glass manufacturers themselves? Because cover glass makers were “reluctant to commit investment to the purchase of glass cutting equipment due to the high capital involved,” said DigiTimes’ sources.

How soon before they’re fitted to iPhones? The machines are already in assembly plants, reports DigiTimes, due to spring into action “once yield rates for the production of curved glass reaches a satisfactory level.”

What would you use a curved glass touchscreen to do? Copy Google, for starters. The Google Nexus S, which launched last December, already has one. Also: to make it more comfortable to hold up to your ear. Even though you’re really supposed to be using ear buds to fend off the bad brain vibes and, you know, drive with both hands on the wheel.

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