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A newly revealed patent may show what Microsoft's canceled Surface Duo 3 looked like

The Surface Duo 2 with the Spotify app

Microsoft tried to launch an Android-based smartphone with its Surface Duo series of foldable devices. The first Surface Duo launched in 2019 and is now no longer officially supported. The second Surface Duo 2 launched in 2021.

Both of these phones were designed to offer two separate screens, connected by a hinge, rather than one screen that folds, which is what other phone makers like Samsung, Motorola, and others offer for their foldable phones. However, neither of the Surface Duo phones was a sales success, and Microsoft reportedly canceled plans for a Surface Duo 3.

Instead, unconfirmed reports claimed Microsoft was going to release an Android phone with a more traditional foldable screen. However, an overall cutback at the company on hardware devices in general in the spring of 2023 reportedly killed plans for even that traditional foldable phone.

microsoft patent

Now, a newly revealed Microsoft patent may show what that phone might have looked like. Patent 20240201734 was filed on June 20 on the US Patent Office website (via Patently Apple). Officially, the patent is labeled as "Kickstand for opening foldable computing device." However, according to Windows Central, via unnamed sources at Microsoft, the patent shows the design for that canceled Surface Duo foldable smartphone. The look behind the back of the phone shows three rear cameras on the top left corner of the screen.

microsoft patent

Another one of the patent's figures shows the phone unfolded in the back with what looks like a separate camera for the other section of the phone, which presumably would be the cover screen when the phone was in a folded position.

The image also shows a magnetic kickstand that could be placed in the back of the phone when folded out so people could watch content hands-free. Windows Central reports that Microsoft was planning on putting in a power button that could double as a way to unfold the phone.

With Microsoft's cutbacks in its PC and Android hardware products, it's likely that we will not see an Android phone from the company for a long time, if ever. This patent filing gives us a tiny look at what could have been the future of Microsoft's Android phone efforts.

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