Apple has probably learned a valuable lesson thanks to the Bendgate phenomenon last year, and may be thinking about following the trend of curved and flexible devices. Just recently, the company has been granted the U.S. patent No. 8,929,085 for "Flexible electronic devices".
In the document, the Cupertino giant shows a portable device that looks like an iPhone and is able to withstand flexing, folding, and bending to a great degree without suffering internal damage to the components, by using rigid-flex printed circuit boards and flexible housing. The filing suggests Apple could use "plastic, thin glass, fiber composites, thin metal, fabric, and silicone" to manufacture a more durable and rugged iDevice.
Internal components may include an OLED covered by a thin sheet of glass, and a flexible battery composed of several layers. One interesting bit is when it mentions that the device may be able to respond to gestures such as bending the device, or squeezing it, allowing for a rich interaction.
Apple may not use these patents to create an exotic new iPhone, but this does indicate that the company is looking to bring more innovation into its future mobile devices. With Samsung preparing to release a flexible phone in 2015 and LG's recent announcement of the G Flex 2, the trend for curved and bendable handsets is slowly taking shape.