Apple has won a patent for display technology that could potentially be used in a circular screen.
The patent, which you can read here, is for a specific way to handle the difficulties related to creating a round display. The filing describes a complex array of folded data lines to transmit signals to certain parts of the display.
There are a few images within the filing that look an awful lot like watches, but that doesn’t mean we’ll see a circular Apple Watch soon.
Apple frequently patents products it never actually releases. Unfortunately in the case of this patent, it could be as much for a new Apple Watch featuring a round display, as it is a protective patent the company filed to make things more difficult its competitors.
Plenty of manufacturers have released smartwatches with round displays. Motorola’s Moto 360, Samsung’s Gear S3 and LG’s Watch Sport are just some examples. Winning this patent could certainly give Apple an advantage against any or all of these manufacturers.
The technology might not even be for a watch at all. We could see this technology used in a future iPhone display with rounded corners, for example — though this is unlikely.
While circular displays are less efficient than rectangular ones, when it comes to watches there is something very aesthetically pleasing about circles. A circular Apple Watch could be an exciting new addition to tech giant’s wearables line.