Microsoft Surface Duo 3 Design Revealed via Patent Describing Cancelled Foldable With Flexible Display

Microsoft discontinued its foldable devices – known as Surface Duo – in 2023. However, the company is said to have attempted one last shot at a folding phone, and reportedly developed a Surface Duo 3 before scrapping it. A recently discovered patent suggests that the next generation Surface device would have looked like, with a single continuous display and a kickstand at the back. This development comes after the discovery of a similar patent in March which suggested that the Surface might yet have a Lazarus moment.

Microsoft Surface Duo 3 design revealed by US patent

According to a patent application discovered by PatentlyApple, Microsoft may have scrapped plans for a device that could have become the Surface Duo 3. The patent reveals that it would have featured a single continuous display – a big change from the dual-screen Surface Duo which never properly took off and was shut down by the company last year.

Microsoft’s foldable device, as per the patent document
Photo Credit: US Patent and Trademark Office/Microsoft

The device would have featured a magnetically attached kickstand at the back, enabling the user to place it on a table vertically or horizontally, without requiring any third-party accessories or cases. The patent also suggests a triple camera setup at the back of the foldable device with a module similar in shape to Apple’s iPhone Pro models. Another design element of the device would have been its power button, which could be used to unfold it. In theory, this would have made opening it manually redundant.

The patent is said to have been filed with the US Patent and Trademark Office on June 20. Although it was filed for a “kickstand for opening foldable computing device”, it mentions a device with a “flexible” display with support hinges which can fold 180 degrees. This device is speculated to be the now-cancelled Surface Duo device. Notably, it was revealed a few months ago that Microsoft discarded plans for a similar device which it codenamed Project Neon.

Interestingly, the patent application also mentions another device with a flexible display with support hinges that can be rotated 360 degrees so that the single continuous display is face-to-face.

Is the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5 the best foldable phone you can buy in India right now? We discuss the company’s new clamshell-style foldable handset on the latest episode of Orbital, the Gadgets 360 podcast. Orbital is available on Spotify, Gaana, JioSaavn, Google Podcasts, Apple Podcasts, Amazon Music and wherever you get your podcasts.

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