Surface Duo 2 has been around for a while and it is a significant improvement over the original dual-screen phone. Microsoft is holding a Surface event in October for Surface Pro 9 and Surface Studio 3, but it won’t include the next-generation Android phone from the company.
While we still don’t have a release date for a possible Surface Duo 3, it is set to arrive in 2023.
We don’t have a confirmation that a foldable Microsoft phone even is in the works, but reports previously suggested that a Surface Duo 3 is indeed in the works. Now, we’ve spotted a new patent application that is further proof that Microsoft is very interested in joining the growing market for foldable phones.
The patent application ‘FOLDABLE DISPLAY DEVICE‘ is focused on foldable devices, suggesting that the design could apply to Surface Duo 3. The application was filed in 2021 and it was published earlier this year, and it details a very promising handheld foldable phone.
As you’re probably aware, Surface Duo features two screens with a hinge in the middle that enables rotation. Microsoft is working on its successor which is believed to be a single-screen phone. In this patent application, Microsoft has discussed a single foldable panel that can go from zero to 360 degrees.
The picture in the patent application shows the foldable phone can switch between a seamless tablet and a one-handed smartphone. This could idea could be rather radical only if Microsoft is able to create a new user interface optimized for such a form factor. Per the filing, a foldable phone’s display can bend both inwards and outwards.
This is interesting as phones from companies like Samsung only support inward folding where the second display is on the top. Microsoft’s idea allows the Surface Duo 3 to bend both inwards as well as outwards, which hasn’t been attempted by an Android manufacturer so far.
Of course, patents don’t necessarily mean that the Surface Duo 3 with this design is imminent or even likely. However, the patent gives us a better look at what the company’s thinking and there’s a chance a similar design will be used for Surface Duo 3 or future devices.