Microsoft has made a new device an Android phone which has two screens. The software maker showed off its device, called the Surface Duo, at an event in New York this last Wednesday. The company said the two screens would make users more productive. The company has set it’s Surface Duo phone could beat the Huawei Mate X, Galaxy Fold and Apple as they have promised 4 ways the Dual-screen Microsoft Surface Neo to be available in holiday 2020.
The device has two 5.6-inch displays that expand to an 8.3-inch device as It didn’t provide many other details about the Surface Duo — which joins another, larger dual-screen device, the Surface Neo. The event also saw the launch of Windows 10 X software for dual-screen devices. More prosaic new products included the Surface Laptop 3, Surface Pro X and Surface Pro 7 tablets, Surface Earbuds and the SQ1 custom Arm chip.
“This product brings together the absolute best of Microsoft, and we’re partnering with Google to bring the absolute best of Android in one product,” Microsoft Product Chief Panos Panay said. “This is industry pushing technology.”
For the past two decades, Microsoft tried to make operating systems for mobile phones, but it gave up on the effort two years ago. It couldn’t compete with the popularity of Google’s Android and Apple’s iOS, which will be on 87% and 13% of the world’s smartphones this year, respectively, according to IDC. Instead, Microsoft has opted to expand its Office software and other services to rival devices, including iPhones. The company’s first Android phone takes that further.
Getting back into phones won’t be easy. There are really only three companies that sell devices in huge numbers and make any money from their smartphones — Samsung, Huawei, and Apple. In the second quarter, 22% of smartphones shipped in the world were made by Samsung, 17% by Huawei and 11% by Apple, according to Strategy Analytics. No one else cracked 10%, though Chinese vendors Xiaomi and Oppo came close. It’s unlikely that Microsoft, with an Android phone, would ever become a major phone vendor.
Microsoft isn’t the first company to make a smartphone with two displays but it’s hoping to be the first that’s really successful. ZTE’s Axom M hit the market in 2017 but didn’t exactly spark a trend. LG earlier this year showed off a Dual Screen attachment for its first 5G phone, the V50, as well as a version for its LG G8X ThinQ phone. But LG’s device hasn’t generated the same buzz as foldable phones from Samsung and Huawei and even rumored foldable from companies like Motorola.
While Microsoft is betting that dual screens are the future, most other companies in the phone market are counting on foldable displays. Nearly every major handset maker is rumored to be working on a foldable device.