The United States Patent Office has awarded a new patent to Apple that might signal the coming of bezel-free iPhones with edge-to-edge screens.

The patent involves light sensors being integrated into the displays of electronic devices, specifically referring to the ambient light sensor of Apple being stacked underneath a smartphone's display instead of next to the display in the bezel.

The patent describes a few configurations on how Apple could make such setup possible for the ambient light sensors, which detect how much light there is surrounding the iPhone. In the first configuration, the light sensors are placed on top of the touch-sensitive part of the screen, while in another configuration, the sensor is placed beside the touch-sensitive part without any intersection.

Also detailed in the patent is that, with the current way of placing the light sensors, additional space is required around the display, leading to the necessity of the bezel. With the technology in the patent, it would be possible to get rid of the extra space, which only makes devices bigger and heavier.

An important aspect of the patent is the fact that the technology described will not be limited to ambient light sensors, as it could be used for other types such as proximity sensors.

If Apple would push through with the development and implementation of the patent, future iPhones could be able to drop the bezels found in the current models and utilize an edge-to-edge screen. However, there is the possibility that not all of the parts of the display will be interactive, which would be a small trade-off for the additional screen area. The parts of the display that will not register touch inputs could be used to show information such as the time and the device's remaining battery.

Rumors of iPhones with no bezels have been going on for a while, with one of the reports supporting the topic revealing another patent that Apple was awarded back in May. The patent describes an ultrasound imaging method that will allow Apple to integrate the fingerprint scanner of the iPhone inside its display.

With no bezel and an edge-to-edge screen, Apple could make the iPhone smaller, but the case of the device should be made tougher to protect the display.

The awarded patents to Apple does not necessarily mean that the company will be utilizing the described technologies. However, by looking at the patents, users can catch a glimpse of the general direction that Apple is taking for its flagship product.

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