Microsoft has been keeping pretty quiet about its smartphone business and since the last Lumia series devices, we haven’t heard much from Microsoft about their smartphones. However, Windows phones are definitely not a thing of the past and for those thinking that Microsoft has shelved their smartphone plans, Microsoft has landed a surprise blow. While so far, we’ve kept reading reports of Samsung planning and launching a new foldable or flexible smartphone, turns out Microsoft might beat Samsung at their game. Microsoft has long since been rumoured to launch their own Microsoft Surface smartphones, based on their Surface tablets. However, so far, there had been no leaks about the device. Could it be that the first Microsoft Surface smartphone be a foldable, phone?

According to the latest patents filed in the USA, Microsoft has filed for a new foldable smartphone patent. The foldable phone will be a 2-in-1 smartphone, letting users convert the smartphone into a tablet. While the images of the phone from the patent office show a phone that is not completely a glass display but rather, 2 glass panels with a hinge in the middle, the phone is expected to be a one-large device which folds down the middle and lets the user make it smaller or larger, depending on the usage. Reports suggest that it is not just 2 screen but could even have the space for 3 screens to stretch out and form one large display, making it into a bigger tablet. While the new patent does not mean tha Microsoft is launching a foldable phone, it most definitely hints at a trend future smartphones might see.

The patent for the foldable Microsoft smartphone is filed in the US patent office with the inventor of the device named as Kabir Siddiqui, who also has other Microsoft gadgets to his kitty and the patent is called ‘Mobile computing device having a flexible hinge structure’. While the patent was filed over a couple of years back, in October 2014, it is only now that the patent has been made public knowledge. The Microsoft foldable phone patent will give rise to an all-in-one device, eliminating the need for users to carry multiple gadgets. Although only in the ideation phase for now, the foldable smartphone space could be the trend of the future as most smartphone manufacturers are said to be exploring the foldable and flexible space for smartphones. The new patent has once again raised rumours of the Microsoft smartphone and this time around, it might be  clear indication that Microsoft indeed has something in the offing. Micromax announces Vdeo 3, Vdeo 4 4G smartphones under Rs 5000 in India

According to The Verge, “There appears to be modes for two or three screens to extend flat out to make the device bigger and more of a tablet like Microsoft’s original Courier concept.” Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella has also in the past indicated that Microsoft has not shelved the smartphone segment and is working quiely in the background, without giving much fodder to rumour mills. According to his statement to Australian Financial Review, “We will continue to be in the phone market, not as defined by today’s market leaders, but by what it is that we can uniquely do in what is the most ultimate mobile device.” Well, this new patent sure has us excited and while it might be ages before we see a foldable smartphone, it clearly is the future!