Foldable smartphones could be the next big thing in the tech world. Earlier this year, Chinese mobile phone manufacturer ZTE unveiled their two-screened Axon M, and Microsoft has been filing patents indicating it is developing its own version. The company argues mobile phones have evolved past their primary function and that their current capabilities demand larger displays, but that would mean increasing the size of the devices.
The solution, it suggests, is a phone whose screens can be opened and closed. “The mobile phone or tablet can include an open, expanded position where both displays are flush so that the user feels like there is a single integrated display. In a closed, condensed position, both displays are face-to-face so as to protect the displays. In a fully-open position, the dual displays can sit back-to-back so the user needs to flip the device to view the opposing display,” Microsoft stated in a patent application.
The tech giant sees the foldable smartphone as a middle ground, giving users more screen space without making the devices unpractically large. Rumors of a two-display Microsoft “Surface phone” have been making the rounds recently, but the company hasn’t released any official information yet.