FOLDABLE PHONES ARE SET to be the hottest phone trend of 2019, and Intel is potentially working on a gadget that folds three ways and runs, er, Windows.
An Intel patent dating back to 2017 that Dutch site LetsGoDigital has managed to get its peepers on shows designs for a three-way folding phone. The device in the patent documents can be folded to look like a standard rectangular smartphone, folded in a laptop-like configuration, or folded out flat in a few ways for viewing content across the entire display.
The patent also shows that a stylus could be slipped into the folds of the gadget when origami-ed into its phone mode. LetsGoDigital has some renders of what such a device could look like, and they convey a pretty slick looking hybrid gadget.
But Intel isn't much of a first-party hardware maker beyond kicking out chips; the chipmaker prefers to come up with concept designs, such as dual-screened laptops, which are then pushed to hardware makers like Asus and Lenovo to build upon.
This could be the case with the phone in the patent if indeed Intel has done anything with it; there are plenty of patents filed by big tech firms that amount to nothing despite the future tech they promise.
But given the Royole FlexPai has shown foldable phones are actually a reality and with Samsung set to reveal a foldable Galaxy device next month, there's a good chance that there's more than just smoke behind Intel's patent.
Having a foldable phone running Windows is something worth chewing over. Microsoft has killed off its Windows 10 Mobile operating system, so one might argue that there's no point in trying to make another phone that runs a take on Windows 10; leave that for laptops.
But then a flexible phone that can pull duties as a tablet and compact laptop running say Office 365 apps could be quite appealing for road warrior-style workers.
And there's still some desire for a Surface phone, so Intel could be the company to help Microsoft get hardware in place to enable Windows 10 to work nicely in a phone and tablet form factor. µ
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