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Qualcomm’s multi-fold device eats iPads for breakfast

Forget the Motorola Backflip and forget the iPad – the future of folding touchscreen devices looks to be Qualcomm-shaped. We’ve just seen some rather interesting pictures on Engadget, of a patent application submitted to the US Patent & Trademark Office by Qualcomm – the company responsible for the powerful chips which are powering the next generation of smartphones.

The patent is for a “multi-fold mobile device” which can either be folded up and used as a phone, turned into a laptop, or fully unfurled to provide a “panorama view, similar to widescreen televisions”.

The images, courtesy of the USPTO, show the device running a Google Maps-esque app, serving as a movie/game player, a laptop running office applications and as an alarm clock. We could see multiple windows and widgets working well on this; you could have your main browser window open in the middle, Tweetdeck on the left hand panel and YouTube or Vimeo over in the right.

The image below suggests that it’d be about the size of a Nintendo DS – perhaps a bit demanding on your pocket space then. This might not be a problem if you invest in a pair of WTFJeans.


Of course, this is only a patent and these images are purely conceptual but we’re excited all the same. We contacted Qualcomm who couldn’t provide us with any more information on this yet, but we’ll keep you posted if we hear anything else on this.