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Microsoft could add more hinges, screens to its future foldables

Is this Microsoft's vision for a multi-folding phone?
By
December 28, 2021
Microsoft Surface Duo in hand book mode
David Imel / Android Authority
TL;DR
  • A new patent awarded to Microsoft details the company’s future foldable device ambitions.
  • The device packs a “multi-panel display” reminiscent of previous double-folding designs from Samsung.

Earlier this week, a patent detailing Samsung‘s double-folding phone ambitions broke cover. Now, it’s Microsoft’s turn. The Redmond-based company was recently awarded a patent for its vision of a double-folding triple-screen device.

Initially spotted by Patently Apple, the patent was filed in June 2020 but was awarded to Microsoft on December 23, 2021. It describes a “multi-panel display device” that utilizes two hinges and three distinct sections, each with its own display portion.

The design suggests that when folded, one part of the display acts as the main screen, allowing the device to function as a traditional phone when completely folded. When unfolded, Microsoft’s device would effectively double as an extended tablet.

Microsoft’s patent packs plenty of text, but it isn’t as descriptive as Samsung’s. It’s unclear how the former would position critical components within its double-folding device. The patent image also lacks camera lenses, ports, and buttons, but we’d expect a consumer-ready device to include these elements. However, it’s interesting to note that Microsoft may also opt for a zig-zag-like folding system.

Although Microsoft has demonstrated a commitment to folding devices with the Surface Duo 2, it’s unclear if we’ll see a consumer device resembling this patent any time soon. However, it does seem that companies believe multiple folding devices could be the winning format of phones and tablets in the future.

What do you think of Microsoft’s double-folding device design? Be sure to drop a comment below.