Microsoft’s first two Surface-branded smartphones were dual-screen Android devices that shipped with a bunch of Microsoft’s custom apps and services. But the next Surface phone? It might ditch the dual-screen design and feature a single foldable display instead.
That’s according to a report from Windows Central’s Zac Bowden, who says he has “sources who are familiar with the company’s plans.”
Microsoft had apparently been working on a Surface Duo 3 that would have featured two displays and a 360-degree hinge, much like the Surface Duo 2 and the original Surface Duo, but with taller displays, support for wireless charging, and other updates.
But the company is now said to have shifted its focus to a foldable phone with a 180 degree hinge, a flexible interior display that unfolds to let the size of a small tablet, and a cover display that lets you interact with the phone when its folded in half.
Detailed specs aren’t available yet, and it’s unclear when the phone would come to market. It’s also unclear how much of the software Microsoft developed for its dual-screen phones would make it to the new model — but some of those customizations might not be as necessary as they once were. Google has been working to make Android into a more tablet & convertible-friendly operating system with a taskbar and multi-window support when used on a larger screen.
Windows Central reports that Microsoft hopes to differentiate its Surface phones from competing foldables from companies like Samsung with a software initiative called “Perfect Together,” which will allegedly allow Android and Windows devices to work better together. But Microsoft it’s unclear what this software would offer that you can’t already get from Microsoft’s Phone Link app, Intel’s new Unison software, Motorola’s Ready For, or any number of other similar apps.