Microsoft is reportedly developing a “pocketable” Surface device that’ll feature a foldable display.
The company intends to create a new device category with its upcoming “Andromeda” project, according to The Verge, which obtained an internal document describing the plans.
“It’s a new pocketable Surface device form factor that brings together innovative new hardware and software experiences to create a truly personal and versatile computing experience,” reads the internal document.
“It will blur the lines between mobile and stationary computing,” the document adds.
Microsoft is tentatively scheduled to release the new device later this year, but the company could also cancel the project at any stage, The Verge said.
— David Breyer (@D_Breyer) December 18, 2017
Recent patent filings from Microsoft have also suggested that the company has been working on the device. The filings show a foldable tablet-like product that can support cell phone functionality. A designer has even drawn up what the rumored device might look like.
If real, the upcoming product may help Microsoft address it’s struggles in the smartphone space. Android and iOS were quick to dominate the market, but the company’s Windows Phone OS failed to gain much traction. Last year, Microsoft finally decided to halt new hardware development for the operating system.
Despite the setbacks, Microsoft has found some success in establishing the Surface brand, which has flourished over the years through several hybrid-tablet and laptop products.
What kind of functionalities the upcoming Andromeda device will have isn’t clear. But according to The Verge, Microsoft has been experimenting a stylus with the device and using ARM processors.
Microsoft wouldn’t be the first vendor to offer a foldable mobile device. Last year, China’s ZTE released the Axon M, which was essentially an Android smartphone built with an additional screen attached to a hinge.