Microsoft's patent filing covers a device that features a flexible hinge and display for transforming a smartphone into a tablet. A new patent application filed by Microsoft has surfaced online revealing that the company has also worked something out about foldable smartphones that can transform into a tablet.
Of course, this patent is no living proof that the Surface Phone is coming, but it's a good indication of how the software giant sees the future of mobile devices. It's unlikely that this is the final design of a rumored Surface Phone, but this type of concept device could provide some clues to how Microsoft is looking at smartphones and mobile devices after its retreat from the mobile market past year. And, it is worth noting that most of the patents approved won't get cut into the final consumer product.
Microsoft has taken a universal approach to Windows 10, in that the OS is created to work across multiple devices, so a Surface Phone that could transform into another mobile product would make a lot of sense in terms of demonstrating Windows 10s capabilities.
The inventor of the product in the patent is listed as Kabir Siddiqui, the man behind Microsoft's successful patent for the Surface kickstand and Surface camera angle - which bodes well for this latest design in the long run.
Last week Samsung was reported as working on a similar smartphone design to the one detailed in Microsoft's patent, which was said to come with panels that fold out to form a 7-inch tablet.
Let us know what you think of the patent in the comments.