The U.S. Patent & Trademark Office revealed a Samsung patent application this week relating to an all-new dual OS operating system hybrid device. A Samsung Galaxy Note, for instance, would naturally run Android when in smartphone mode. When the Note smartphone is docked inside a notebook-like shell companion component, it would automatically switch to running the Windows operating system, such as Windows 10. This could be a sign marking a huge new move into the enterprise space where Apple is currently winning handily.
Such a move by Samsung could mark an interesting development. It could be seen as a direct first-step attempt in challenging Apple's iPhone and iPad in the enterprise that is now being supercharged with their new Apple + IBM MobileFirst strategy. How could that be with just a single hybrid device?
It was noted first by SamMobile prior to the release of the Galaxy S6 that the new smartphone would come with apps like Microsoft OneNote, OneDrive, Office Mobile (with a free Office 365 subscription), and Skype. But since that time, Microsoft has begun promoting their new strategy: Mobile-First, Cloud-First computing.
Yes, Mobile-First – where did we hear that before? Obviously Samsung and Microsoft want to blur the lines with a similar approach that Apple and IBM are taking. Yet by collaborating on this strategy with this new Samsung hybrid device, it just might be the beginning of an interesting new war front.
So with Samsung collaborating with Microsoft for apps and eventually the Mobile-First, Cloud-First platform to mirror what Apple and IBM are offering, we begin to see an emerging pattern. To strengthen their Knox platform, Samsung reportedly worked with BlackBerry which is known for their enterprise class security solutions. So Samsung's new strategy has been in the works for some time now.
Apple's iOS currently has the lead in the enterprise. According to a new Good Technology report, Apple's iOS still dominates the Enterprise Market by a Wide Margin with iPad Activations at 81%. On the smartphone front, the iPhone and the Galaxy line of smartphones dominate the enterprise.
To date, Samsung's efforts to take on Apple's iPad in the enterprise have ultimately failed and Microsoft's lack of credible mobile hardware is making it difficult for Microsoft to sell their new Mobile-First / Cloud-First strategy. So this is what makes this new Samsung invention so very interesting. It's a way around the success of the iPad and the MacBook Air.
In a way, by combining the Galaxy smartphone or Note phablet with a notebook shell, they've created a tool that could interest the enterprise because this future smartphone would run Android and Windows. It will run Windows naturally when in phone mode and once the Note smartphone is docked with the notebook, the Note automatically switches to Windows with the Note acting as the notebook's trackpad (in one configuration option).
The enterprise for the most part is familiar with the Windows platform and Office apps and now with their Mobile-First / Cloud-First platform combined with Samsung's popular hardware in this new form factor, it could be a winning force down the line.
This new smartphone-notebook hybrid would allow the notebook to be able to access the internet without needing a WiFi connection or a mobile internet Key. The notebook would also be able to recharge the smartphone. So for busy executives or students on the go, this new hybrid device will have its appeal with many.
Getting to the invention, Samsung's patent FIGS. 1 and 2 below are views provided to illustrate a docking system #1000. In patent FIG. 1 we're able to see a phablet and a docking apparatus separated from each other; in FIG. 2 we're able to see the phablet mounted on a docking apparatus.
In the patent figures below we see the "main" notebook display #300c and below it, we see two possible states that the phablet could present. In the first state, noted as #400c, we see that the display is running Windows OS with it being extended to the main notebook display. But it could also have Android running on the phablet display while the notebook is running Windows.
In the second state, noted below as #400d, the phablet display simply acts as a touchpad for the notebook. Samsung spells this out clearly: "The user interface may display that the touch screen is operated as a touch pad."
Where the design gets interesting is when Samsung describes a new kind of device, a new kind of notebook where the CPU and other components of the phablet are actually the brains behind this notebook. That's interesting because in figure 300c we see on the left column the Internet Explorer browser icon. So at least in this configuration, a phablet is running Windows, not Android. But the patent clarifies this visual for us this way: "Herein, the first operating system may be Android, and the second operating system may be Windows." It further notes that "other operating systems may also be applied," which leaves the door open for at least Tizen.
Samsung further describes it this way: "The storage may store a program to drive the phablet (electronic apparatus 100). Specifically, the storage may store a program which is a group of various commands which are necessary to drive the phablet. Herein, the program includes not only an application program to provide a specific service but also an operating program to drive an application program. Herein, the operating program may include the first operating system and the second operating system. Specifically, the first operating system may be an Android operating system which is driven in a smart phone, etc., and the second operating system may be a Windows operating system which is driven in a notebook PC, a desktop PC, etc."
Samsung notes that the system's controller may determine the operation state of the phablet to be a notebook PC state, and if a user wishes to display only two images, the controller may determine the operation state of the electronic apparatus to be a dual display state.
Later in the patent filing it's noted that "if a docking apparatus (#200) is not connected, the bios may proceed with booting under the first operating system (Android), and if a docking apparatus is connected, then the bios may proceed with booting under the second operating system (Windows)."
What's not described in any detail is what the shell of this notebook hybrid could bring to the table. Will it have a massive battery? What ports will it offer? It's not known. But Samsung does note that by not having traditional notebook components (CPU and HDD) the notebook-like device would be "lighter and slimmer." The idea of course is to challenge the iPad in a new form factor that many would prefer with a built in keyboard.
Will this new hybrid device from Samsung charged with Microsoft's software and cloud solution be able to drill a hole into Apple's Mobile-First strategy? Only time will tell.
Samsung filed their U.S. patent application back in Q3 2014. Considering that this is a patent application, the timing of such a product to market is unknown at this time.
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