Remember the Surface Phone rumours? They’ve come around and faded away multiple times in recent years, pretty much ever since Microsoft launched the first-gen Surface tablet , in fact. But now they’re back once again.
WinCentral has picked up several rumour threads, including a series of patent filings, and tied them together into a somewhat compelling case for a foldable Surface-branded smartphone that turns into a tablet when opened up – similar to the ZTE Axom M, except Windows based.
Another hint comes via a Microsoft job advertisement looking for someone who knows their way around Qualcomm and Intel CPUs; both suggesting a mobile angle rather than a PC one. There are some indicators the Surface phone would used the Andromeda Windows 10 phone build with support for ARM architecture and desktop applications.
Additionally, prominent Windows-oriented Twitter account Walking Cat picked up some code from the Whiteboard application which refers to a “Journal” with “left and right page” designations – it’s possible these refer to the dual screens of the folding phone design.
Take all this with a grain or two of salt, however, as again the Surface phone rumours have practically re-emerged every year for a long time with no tangible results. In addition, Microsoft officially shut down its mobile phone hardware operations and has even dropped some fairly heavy hints that it’ll just focus on PC software going forward. Of course, if such a project is in development, it would be a heavily guarded secret, so it doesn’t rule it out.
Lastly, another thing to bear in mind is that this foldable design would appear to be somewhat dependent on flexible OLED technology, which is yet to debut on any commercial device. This is squarely Samsung’s territory right now, so it’ll be interesting to see what kind of partnerships that might bear out.