Microsoft joins the foldable display club; patents 2-in-1 tablet-smartphone combo device

Joining the ever-growing list of companies with foldable phone patents is Microsoft with its own take on the concept.

MSPowerUser reports that Microsoft’s patent went public yesterday. The patent application shows a device that looks like a tablet, but which can fold in half to about the size of an average smartphone.

As with Samsung’s foldable phone patent, Microsoft’s design also features a fold-out design, wherein the phone’s screen remains on the outside even when the device is folded up. The patent application also reveals the proposed display sizes, which range from a 7.9-inch tablet screen that folds to a 5.5-inch smartphone screen to a 12-inch tablet screen that folds to an 8.3-inch smartphone screen.

Nokia also patented a foldable smartphone design a few days ago. Nokia’s design, however, centres around a fold-in display and a device that looks very much like a ladies’ compact.

Various reports also suggest that LG is working on a device with a folding display.

In fact, Samsung and LG are both expected to release devices with foldable displays in the second half of this year. Microsoft, Google and Apple have reportedly invested a great deal into LG’s foldable display technology and it’s likely that LG will simply supply foldable displays to these companies rather than build its own device at scale.

Both LG and Samsung are expected to produce around 100,000 units of their version of a foldable display device by the end of this year.


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