Microsoft plans to take on iPhone and Android smartphones with this new device

4 months ago 178

Microsoft plans to take on iPhone and Android smartphones with this new device

Microsoft discontinues Surface Duo smartphones but files a patent for a new foldable device with a single hinge system called 'spine cover plate'. The design aims to eliminate the hinge crease and reduce the device's thickness while offering added benefits and durability. However, its practicality remains uncertain.

Microsoft

did not get the success it was anticipating with its Android-powered

Surface Duo-series

smartphones. The company has discontinued the lineup after the Duo 2. But, this does not mean the company has stopped trying.
A new

patent application

filed with the United States Patent and Trademark Office on February 29, reveals that the company is working on another foldable or dual-display mobile device.

The patent application describes the company’s take on the foldable smartphone concept with single hinge technology called “spine cover plate”.
Next Microsoft smartphones could feature a Galaxy Z Fold-like design
According to the patent application, the phone could feature a “flexible display” in a bookstyle design similar to Galaxy Z Fold decies. However, the entire focus is on the spine cover plate mechanism which is aimed at protecting the single-hinge system of the device by covering the structural element.

The differentiating factor between the regular hinge and Microsoft’s design is that the spine cover adjusts automatically during the opening and closing of the phone to prevent any unnecessary gaps around the hinge to protect it from dust as well as water. Currently, Samsung’s design offers an IPX8 rating which makes their foldables water-resistant only.
The patent further mentions that the new hinge mechanism could allow Microsoft to eliminate the hinge crease less visible than the current options available in the market.

Moreover, Microsoft has also mentioned techniques that could allow them to reduce the overall thickness of the foldable smartphone by allowing the spine cover plate to move closer to the device’s hinge when folded.
“By retracting the spine cover plate toward the central spine as the first display-supporting frame and the second display-supporting frame are rotated into a face-to-face orientation, the width of the folded computing device is reduced, thereby enabling easier and more comfortable handling of the device, such as with one hand,” Microsoft noted in the patent.
Interesting idea, but practicality is a question mark
The entire smartphone market is searching for a way to eliminate the foldable crease from their smartphones. Some brands have already implemented the water-drop folding mechanism to reduce it, but there’s nothing like a crease-free foldable out there. Apart from that, the durability quotient of foldable is also important considering all the movable parts these phones have.
That said, adding another layer or a movable part on top of the entire foldable mechanism does not appear like a wise move despite the added benefits and durability Microsoft has explained in the patent application.

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