Microsoft Surface Phone: Dual OLED Displays with a Hinge; The All-in-One PC?
I agree that the Windows phone didn’t go well and even resulted in Bill Gates using an Android smartphone. But these new rumors about the mysterious Surface Phone could change tides. The World Intellectual Property Organization granted Microsoft a patent this Thursday, which contains sketches and descriptions of what this smartphone might look like. Though it doesn’t clarify whether it is the “Surface Phone,” Microsoft may have been experimenting with a device with two displays. If you remember correctly, Microsoft toyed with this idea in 2009, but was eventually canceled.
The images reveal that the device contains a dual OLED display and a “self-regulating hinge,” allowing greater flexibility. The hinge will allow the two screens to combine into a large one with no bezels. It can fold backward and forwards and take various shapes according to the user’s requirements. It’s also noticeable that when it’s stretched out, there is almost no gap between the two screens. A previous patent showed a thinner USB-C module and a ribbon cable like Surface Link, the surface of which is bendable glass to accommodate the deformation of the edge fold.
The patent, however, fails to mention whether this hinge is intended for a smartphone, laptop, or something else. It may be the path to an all-in-one PC, something Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella claimed that a smartphone from the company could be the “ultimate mobile device.” A reliable Windows tipster, WalkingCat, claimed that the Whiteboard app includes references to “Journal; app’ left and right page references, “clearly hinting a device works with separate left and right interfaces. He made another reference to the Whiteboard app, tweeting, “This is the accessibility title for the Whiteboard application, which is a single large canvas for creation with a chrome toolbar at the bottom,”
Back to the hinge, the patent outlined two types: magnetic and mechanical. It highlights the six hinge types mentioned in the image. The patent mentions OLED. It looks like after Apple, the technology has caught the attention of Microsoft. Whatever the reasons, Satya Nadella has commented before on how the company will ensure its products are not market followers. To give you a preview, a video was launched by Microsoft Labs. The smartphone shown at interval 2.40 offers precisely this concept.
An honorable mention is that a similar device, ZTE Axon M, had two displays launched two months before. However, the device is far from perfect and left lots to be desired. As for the pricing, a Reddit user claiming to be a former employee of a Microsoft contractor stated that the Surface Phone wouldn’t launch for at least a year. The source claimed the device would “probably” be released in late 2018 or 2019. The user further mentioned, “Nobody knows what they are working on right now, but they don’t seem to be giving up,”
The future looks bright for the Microsoft Surface phone. According to Satya Nadella’s words, the device will be different, not a follower. While other manufacturers are running behind Dual cameras, Microsoft is secretly working on the next best thing- a Phone with a PC inside, or is it the other way around?