Surface Phone 2017: Microsoft Patent Suggests Foldable Phone Convertible Into A Tablet And Vice Versa [VIDEO]

18 January 2017, 6:00 am EST By Pia Merci Mobile & Apps

Microsoft is allegedly working on a high-end Surface Phone. Although it is still uncertain whether the company will go forward with a Surface Phone launch anytime soon, Microsoft is reportedly studying foldable smartphones which could possibly be turned into Windows tablets conveniently.

Apple, Samsung and others are researching about foldable smartphones as well and just like its competitors, Microsoft has a documentation highlighting its foldable smartphone vision. The new patent that Microsoft applied describes a foldable tablet that is supported by a flexible hinge.

Furthermore, this flexible hinge structure with USPTO Patent No. 9,541,962 permits the plurality of housings to rotate about an axis in relation to each other, secures the plurality of housings to each other, and supports a continuous viewing area of the display device which extends across the plurality of housings and the flexible hinge structure.

The patent, which was awarded on January 10, features a lot of imagery to explain Microsoft's plans for this ultimate device. Allegedly, the user will be able to conveniently switch from tablet to smartphone mode wherein the screen being put on the exterior of the device.

The tablet can be used as a tablet when unfolded or a phone in compact form. It also imagines devices that would have two hinges and three foldable parts as well. Furthermore, Microsoft even lays out screen sizes for mini-tablet and smartphone mode and resolutions as well.

According to recent reports, Samsung will be releasing a smartphone later this year that resembles the one Microsoft envisions. LG is said to have similar foldable screen technology in place, which supposedly even more advanced than that of Samsung's.

The report claimed that LG may possibly provide foldable screens to its competitors who include Apple and others. Note that Microsoft's patent doesn't reportedly guarantee that such device will actually be built as the highly anticipated Surface Phone 2017.

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