Microsoft doesn’t seem too keen on bringing its foldable device to the market in a hurry, but that does not mean that others feel the same. Samsung, for example, is in dream mode right now.
The world leaders in smartphones is exploring a device not too dissimilar to the mythic Surface Phone.
This recently discovered patent (PDF file) shows that the South Korean firm has already looked into this idea, though Samsung seems to be trying to go a different route and do things a bit different from what Microsoft was exploring.
Basically, while Redmond wanted to use a hinge to link together two different foldable displays, Samsung feels that it is much better to rely on magnets.
In other words, the idea is to create a foldable phone that uses two screens, which can not only work separately but combine when needed to provide a bigger screen real estate. The magnet itself will allow for several positions.
As the images below illustrate:
In fact, the magnet can also allow the two displays to be placed back to back to put a screen on each side of the phone. When fully opened and connected to each other, the two displays would essentially power a tablet with a bigger screen and touch input.
The important thing to note here is that each screen would operate independently, having their own processor and storage.
Yes, the bezel provides a challenge, as such device would not just have a single screen from one edge to another. Still, the company plans to make the UI expand on the secondary display in as seamless a manner as possible.
All this to say that while this looks like a truly innovative product, this is still a patent. In other words, it could take years until something like this comes to fruition and hits the market.
This year, though, Samsung and friends want to bring their own, simpler, models to store shelves.
One can only hope Microsoft joins them soon, too.