Could this be the much-anticipated Surface Phone? Microsoft patents a 2-in-1 foldable mobile device

Could this be the much-anticipated Surface Phone? Microsoft patents a 2-in-1 foldable mobile device

Microsoft might have failed to establish a foothold in the global smartphone market, but that fact only fuels the company's desire to create “the next big thing”. Speculations about the mythical Surface Phone have been circulating for more than 4 years, and a new patent granted to Microsoft last week could put the rumor mill in overdrive once again.

The patent application describes a 2-in-1 foldable device that can act both as a tablet and a smartphone. This gadget is supported by a flexible hinge structure, which secures the several housings located on the device to each other and permits them to rotate about an axis in relation to each other. The structure also supports a continuous viewing area of the display, which extends across the entirety of the device.

While it is needless to say that patents don't always translate to actual consumer products, the designs featured in this particular application don't really resemble any appliance that is currently broadly available on the market. This fits perfectly with Microsoft's promise to shake things up and bring something unique to consumers, but if this turns out to be the company's vision for the Surface Phone, it may have to release the device sooner rather than later, as Samsung and other big corporations are also actively looking into this technology.


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42 Comments

1. SIGPRO

Posts: 2810; Member since: Oct 03, 2012

At least this patent contains much more details than the crappy apple patent which was just a drawing!

2. bucky

Posts: 3771; Member since: Sep 30, 2009

you need apple in your life. You literally cant post anything but apple stuff.

4. SIGPRO

Posts: 2810; Member since: Oct 03, 2012

Apple sucks!

5. aegislash

Posts: 1436; Member since: Jan 27, 2015

The most profitable company in history got that way because they "suck"....okay then.

6. SIGPRO

Posts: 2810; Member since: Oct 03, 2012

So? They still suck! You heard they will not matter anymore, i give the iphone till 2020!

8. aegislash

Posts: 1436; Member since: Jan 27, 2015

In 2020, the iPhone will still be the best selling device on the market. But you can keep on dreaming!

10. SIGPRO

Posts: 2810; Member since: Oct 03, 2012

Fanboys i know apple is god to you....... But remember apple is now nr3 on the list, Huawei is nr4. My prediction in 2020 apple will be on nr 6 or 7!

11. kiko007

Posts: 7469; Member since: Feb 17, 2016

Cocaine is a hell of a drug......

12. kiko007

Posts: 7469; Member since: Feb 17, 2016

BTW, where is this list detailing your (no doubt) flawless research? I can't wait to ridicule this.......

20. SIGPRO

Posts: 2810; Member since: Oct 03, 2012

You should do some research....but like always ifans are blind and can't criticism!

16. trojan_horse

Posts: 5868; Member since: May 06, 2016

"In 2020, the iPhone will still be the best selling device on the market." Hum, okay... But not sure why you're so affirmative about that, as so many things can change in 3 years.

22. aegislash

Posts: 1436; Member since: Jan 27, 2015

Apple's fanbase is unmatched by any other OEM. Never once do you hear about an Android device gaining 12 million+ in pre-orders alone. I'm just going by what is already a fact.

27. marorun

Posts: 5029; Member since: Mar 30, 2015

no device is gaining 12 million + in preorder beside apple because if you want an ios device you have no alternative than an iphone. So your point is worthless.

26. marorun

Posts: 5029; Member since: Mar 30, 2015

aegislash you should rename yourself to nostradamus.

23. DGxumbreo7

Posts: 63; Member since: Nov 27, 2016

Not an Apple fan but they for sure dont "suck" their quite a major player. still not much of a fan. i think they could build a much stonger processor and stop skimping on it

24. Roadshaw

Posts: 1; Member since: Jan 16, 2017

Actually, Alphabet(google) is the most profitable company in history. So it looks as if android takes the cake.

29. kiko007

Posts: 7469; Member since: Feb 17, 2016

You know Google is the underling in that relationship, right?

25. marorun

Posts: 5029; Member since: Mar 30, 2015

Even if you are succesful and rich you can still suck btw..

30. kiko007

Posts: 7469; Member since: Feb 17, 2016

Token words from a non-successful salary man... "Even if you are succesful and rich you can still suck btw.." This must be what "hater logic" sounds like.

34. razmahtaz001

Posts: 501; Member since: May 11, 2013

very profitable because they steal, bribe, and use other oems features...vice versa and they will sue LOL also rich because they dont pay their taxes LOL also rich because they like to sue for rounded corners LOL also rich because our president vetoed a sales ban of iphones LOL also rich because "you an fill out the rest here" LOL as you can see, apple is the master of theft and deception LOL

3. Dr.Phil

Posts: 2250; Member since: Feb 14, 2011

I have to hand it to Microsoft on this one. And if they release this before Samsung and Apple then they could have a good chance to capitalize on what will soon be the future of the smartphone market. However, something tells me that they are going to slap a high price tag on this and it will turn a lot of people away. With all of the money that Microsoft makes, you would think they would try to subsidize the price of their devices. If nothing else, it gets people to turn to their platform and want to go to it for future device purchases. That's how Google got developers with the original Nexus devices and it worked out really well.

7. aegislash

Posts: 1436; Member since: Jan 27, 2015

Eh, I really doubt that foldable phones will ever be the future of the smartphone market. The only real way that would ever happen is if the big league players like Apple and Samsung were to completely abandon single-screened devices and only offer foldables, because then people wouldn't have a choice, and obviously since both companies have such large fanbases who wouldn't want a device from another OEM, they would sell like hotcakes. Of course, anything said at this point is merely opinion since we don't have any true phones with foldable displays yet. I know Kyocera tried a foldable device at one point, but it failed miserably. Who knows, though. Maybe foldable phones from major OEMs will be what people have been waiting for all along.

18. Dr.Phil

Posts: 2250; Member since: Feb 14, 2011

I should clarify when I say it will be the future of the smartphone market, I mean it will become a future segment of the smartphone market (similar to how much market share is given to "phablets" now). If you remember the phablet started out as a niche product but now is a major segment of the market. The Kyocera dual-screen phone failed I think for a bunch of different reasons. For one, Kyocera is not a major manufacturer or one that necessarily produces quality products. I've read reviews of people that owned that device and they said it was a good concept but poorly executed with some quality control issues. Also, the phone was only released on Sprint in the US. And the phone had a split down the middle that was noticeable that kind of ruined the "full screen" experience. So, I don't think it's fair to translate the failure of that device to these future devices.

28. marorun

Posts: 5029; Member since: Mar 30, 2015

slowly samsung is pushing flat screen away. So i can see them do the same for normal screen phone ( even edge one ) to get the foldable one out. its will possibly happen.

15. krystian

Posts: 423; Member since: Mar 16, 2016

MS surface line is premium only. Much like the Apple line. MS then let's OEMs shadow their designs and compete for price. MS will never subsidize the price as it will turn OEMS away.

9. gotoAndDie

Posts: 80; Member since: Jun 13, 2015

I wonder what kind of Windows it'd run if it ever becomes a real product.

13. MrElectrifyer

Posts: 3960; Member since: Oct 21, 2014

Definitely Windows 10 on ARM with some reverse-continuum UI when in Smartphone form-factor. Anything less would be an underwhelming joke like the Surface RT.

21. Podrick

Posts: 1283; Member since: Aug 19, 2015

That brings one thing in my mind. Hope Windows 10 ARM will support Nvidia Tegra chips.

31. Crispin_Gatieza

Posts: 3089; Member since: Jan 23, 2014

Windows RT is Windows on ARM. The whole brouhaha lately is because Qualcomm was able to make it run on a chip made for telephony, nothing else. That, and the fact Microsoft engineers figured out a way to recompile the x86 apps through an emulator-style process. I'm sure the new Windows on ARM still won't be able to run executables which was RT's downfall. Given the choice between RT and the first gen Atom craplets, I gladly stayed with a Surface 2 until the Bay Trail offerings replaced the Clover Trail POS. Even then, they weren't as fast or nearly as stable as RT.

32. Penny

Posts: 1844; Member since: Feb 04, 2011

From what I've read, Windows on ARM was not solely a Qualcomm development, nor solely a Microsoft development. Microsoft has actually gotten Windows, in its entirety and including x86 apps, to run on the latest ARM chip from Qualcomm. I imagine this has something to do with some of the new hardware capabilities of the chip, and a lot to do with Microsoft spending a significant amount of time re-engineering Windows.

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