Rumors of a Surface Phone from Microsoft have been circulating the web for some time now and it might just be a foldable smartphone. Recently discovered patent filings have revealed that Microsoft is experimenting with a large smartphone that can transform into a tablet.
The patent application from Microsoft was made public on Monday and was first published online by MSPowerUser. It shows a 2-in-1 device that comes with a hinge allowing users to fold it out into a tablet, or fold it into a smaller manageable smartphone. The flexible hinge will also let users set up the device in tent mode similar to Lenovo’s Yoga tablet.
Based on the illustrations provided, the device appears to be a lot thicker than current smartphones due to its foldable design. However, this does provide users with larger screen real estate when folded out in tablet mode.
Although companies like Microsoft are known for filing patents for numerous experimental products, this foldable phone concept in particular is distinct from the rest. The patent filing lists the inventor as Kabir Siddiqui, the same person responsible for previously patenting Microsoft’s Surface kickstand and Surface camera, as pointed out by The Verge.
Foldable smartphones with flexible displays aren’t that farfetched either as numerous other companies have been experimenting with it for awhile now. Samsung and LG are both rumored to be planning on releasing foldable smartphones later this year as well.