The drawing on the patent application looks like a previous version of the iPod nano. Apple, however, is dreaming up a flattened oval iPhone that's all screen, thereby changing up the way a user would interact with the device. Facial recognition, 3D capabilities and gesture control could be in the mix as well -- if Apple can incorporate them in user-friendly ways.

Curves, flexibility and an all-glass case may be in the design cards for a future iPhone.
Apple was awarded a patent Thursday from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office for a consumer electronic product with a flexible display and transparent housing.
Apple Patent Drawing for
a Wraparound Screen
(click to enlarge)

The patent also notes that visual content can be displayed anywhere on the wraparound housing.
In its patent application, Apple explains that there is too much wasted space on today's electronic devices.
"Electronic devices have settled into a standard form factor; namely a flat planar form factor with a display on one side and an opaque housing which contains the electrical components covering the rear surface of the device," the application said.