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Mar 11, 2010
Anand Srinivasan

Qualcomm’s Multi-Fold Device Can Replace Your iPad And iPhone

In digital media circles, there are traditionally three screens for user consumption : the TV, mobile phone and desktop. This conventionality is seen to be the primary reason why manufacturers were not comfortable in developing a tablet device – until Apple finally decided to move ahead with the iPad plan.

At a time when Apple is seeking to expand the number of screens a consumer is exposed to, Qualcomm has quite contrarian ambitions. It wants to develop one device that can fit all the users’ aspirations – a multifold device that can be spread out to work like a TV as well as folded into a cellphone. A recent patent application from Qualcomm suggests exactly this

“A multi-fold mobile device with a configurable interface is disclosed. When fully extended, the device may provide a panorama view, similar to widescreen televisions. When fully folded, the device may provide a small form factor with an abbreviated view similar to cellular telephones. In addition, the user interface (UI) displayed on the device may change based on the folding configuration of the device. Thus, based on a current folding configuration of the device, the UI may be a panorama UI, a desktop UI, an application UI, a web browser UI, an alarm clock UI, a media player UI, or some other UI.

Qualcomm multi fold portable deviceQualcomm Multi fold portable electronic device

It is not clear if Qualcomm is planning a foray into consumer electronics manufacturing or if this is simply a generic patent for the technology. What do you think?

3 Comments

  • Uhm… Tablets are only making their debut now because this is where the technology has gotten us, not because Apple is any more forward-thinking or creative than the next guy. This fold out screen is quite an interesting concept, but will probably just be one more way of doing collapsible screens, especially with bendy OLED and bendy graphine multitouch sensors. All in good time.

  • Interesting concept, but it’s frustrating that a company can patent something they have no intention of producing themselves and will simply make money off others who actually do. It’s a separate argument, but patents should only be awarded for idea + implementation, not idea alone, IMO.

  • I’m not sure this is really a novel idea – I have a wallet that folds in exactly the same way.

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