Samsung imagined a “Surface Duo” well before Microsoft. The brand has filed a patent a few years ago that has just been granted by the US Intellectual Property Organization. A simple coincidence?
Foldable smartphones are slowly starting to make their way into the mobile market. The Galaxy Fold is the result of several years of research on the side of Samsung, one of the pioneers on this type of device. The manufacturer has imagined different form factors more or less distant from the final version of its first flexible screen smartphone. A patent filed in 2013 is back on the scene. The US Patent and Trademark Office, literally the US Patent and Trademark Office, finally validated this patent in October 2019.
Originally discovered by Patently Mobile, it describes “a dual-screen smartphone reflecting new modes of operation and a completely redesigned user interface.” The diagrams show a device that resembles in all respects the Microsoft Surface Duo that skips the flexible screens in favor of two slabs connected by a hinge. Ditto for the new LG G8X Think that is presented as the smartphone of “all possibilities” with many ways to use both screens daily. The multitasking features are strongly emphasized and it is also possible to turn one of the two screens into a touchpad, which gives the smartphone an air of Nintendo 3DS.
One can also imagine the second screen as a touch keyboard, a use that would make this type of smartphone a mini-PC of another kind. Samsung’s new patent may be seen as a sign that the Korean giant has not finished exploring all the possible form factors for its foldable smartphones. But nothing indicates that this model will be realized in the near future.