Samsung believes it can dock an Android smartphone into a Windows notebook

Samsung has come up with a proposal for a new dual-OS device which connects an Android smartphone into a notebook dock. After the smartphone is in place, the notebook switches to running a version of Windows.

Samsung filed for a patent describing this unusual hardware merger with the US Trademark and Patent Office that went public earlier in May. In its description, Samsung says that tablets can run most of a PC's applications but that its touchscreen interface is not well suited for business and enterprise tasks.

Samsung Smartphone Docking Patent

The patent application describes the proposal for creating a notebook dock that allows a large smartphone to connect to it. The application adds, "Herein, the first operating system may be Android, and the second operating system may be Windows." When the Android smartphone is placed in the dock, it could turn into the trackpad of that notebook while it runs Windows. Alternatively, the smartphone could serve as a second screen for the merged devices, running either Android or as a display extension for Windows.

Of course, filing for a patent is no guarantee that any products using this set-up will be made. However, it does show that Samsung is at least thinking about how it could combine the mobility of a smartphone with the hardware of a notebook for business uses.

Source: USTPO; Via: Patently Mobile

John Callaham
  • This actually could revolutionize mobility. I'm all for it. :)
  • Horrible idea that few will ever care about.
  • You know, Samsung just passed the 10 million of Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge devices sold just few months after their flagship phones were released. These users can be potential Office 365 users which can also have a PC with Windows, with this dock they can have a much more integrated experience when working with Office documents. Just my 2 cents.
  • Unbelievable how closeminded people are here that they can't even grasp the economics of such a devise.  Like you said Samsung sells millions of andorid phones (way more than the number of WP that were sold) so they want to market products toward this user base.  It's about how many they think they can sell.  Larger user base means a greater number of people who might purchase it. Do we windows phone users think (know) continuum will be better, yes.  But we make up a tiny fraction of the market.  Until (if) we surpass android, there will be products they are aimed at them.  Not that hard.
  • Actually, MS should be first at this.
  • Why switch?  That was the whole problem with this type of setup before and the beauty of Continuum.  Why switch from Android to Windows, open different programs, etc.  You could just run Windows and have your same stuff adapt to a larger screen.  Seems much smarter to me.
  • I agree, continuum won't even require you to dock your phone, it could all connect wirelessly. This kind of setup would suit most people :)
  • But a dock like this could provide some extra battery, also its going to likely be much lighter and more portable than a full on laptop.
  • But people like having android in their phones no matter its usefulness.
  • But then why dock it?
  • People don't like having Android. People are just served Android..
  • That's somewhat true.
  • At least in I'm not one of them. I'm dying to switch to Android.
  • That's also somewhat true for Windows on the desktop ;-) There aren't a whole lot other options, if you'd go for Linux you'll miss out on the 4 million desktop application for Windows... If you'd go for Windows Phone in stead of Android you'll mis out on the over a million Android applications. We'll one might argue that Windows Phone is a far more valuable option on mobile than Linux is on the desktop. The app gap between Android and Windows Phone is closing rapidly, while Linux could never recover the ground lost to Windows in the application department ;-) But the point remains the same, as people are forced to use Windows over Linux on the desktop because of the lack of apps... People are also forced to use Android over Windows Phone on mobile for the lack of apps. The irony of it all, is almost funny, right ;-) Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • Samsung prefers Android like every OEM. OEMs have more control over Android than with Windows. They do whatever they can with Android. Windows on mobile is just an afterthought. This will benefit the Galaxy users.
  • Seems their sucking version of continuum.
  • More expensive atrix clone
  • How so? I don't really see any benefit to doing this at all, especially now that Windows 10 phones will have Continuum.
  • The benefit is for all those people who use android devices, not we few who use windows phones.  If this keeps people using windows, then I'm all for it.
  • Not only that but people that find out about this solution will hear about Continuum and realize how much better it sounds and will want to purchase a Windows phone so they only have to carry one device.
  • Personally I would have moved the keyboard to the top just underneath the screen, then move the "phone docking" to the bottom and use the phones screen as a touchpad.
  • My thoughts on point :P lets design it
  • Haha sure thing :) I just don't see the phone being used so much up at the top.
  • Wasn't Nokia working on something similar to this a couple years ago, where the phone attached to the back side of the screen? Obviously, the dual OS capability sounds different, but the docking concept seems similar.
  • I believe that was a Motorola thing, but back in 2009, not a new concept.
  • It was Asus some years ago. I said then, it's cool, I'd buy it when it run Windows.
  • Screw that that lame ass idea. Samsung better start making more and better Windows 10 phones
  • LOL. That wouldn't be bad for us fans... But Samsung is making some interesting choices as of late.
  • They went full retard, never go full retard!
  • Its like putting a turd in a candy dish.
  • Sounds stupid. Probably they are just trying to file patents before MSFT.
  • This requires a PC to dock with, Windows 10 is the PC...
  • Microsoft is offering support for any phone on Windows 10.
  • It looks stupid. You can do that with just connecting it to a USB. Why would you waste space for a huge phone and the mouse pad is in an awkward place.
  • 1st thought: Lol.
    Second thought: Nintendo DS.
  • hahaha
  • Lmfao
  • Definitely scratching my head on this one.
  • Yep, pointless. Forgetting Win10 and 'continuum', WP8 can already do much of this (usb display link to PC, Bluetooth keyboard, just needs a mouse pointer). But why? The 'dock' is just a laptop without a CPU/APU as it still needs everything else (including a touch pad, for some reason). This would only be useful for people who find carrying that extra APU on their person is just too heavy. Really? Do these people even exist?
  • Seems like it would make more sense to just make a Windows 10 phone, then use Continuum when it docks to become a PC.
  • That's what I was thinking.
  • Continuum does make more sense, for the few of us who use windows phones.  The problem is, there aren't very many of us :/  Having an option like this may appeal to the millions of people who do use and (generally) like android phones.
  • Those millions of people don't exist though. If Samsung released the Galaxy S6 with Windows Phone instead of Android, the vast majority of their user base wouldn't care or even know the difference. Most people buy a Galaxy phone, not an Android phone.
  • why not just create a software that does the same function by using the USB connecter 
  • This is half-way possible with Project my screen app for Windows 7 or later devices, you can connect your phone to your desktop if you don't have Miracast adapter on your large monitor. This has some benefits since you can use Lumia photo/video edition software to edit your phone video/photos more easily on a larger display. This is also good for using Here Maps or other apps that are available for Windows Phone but are not available on Windows. I also heard that Windows 10 will get support for Bluetooth keyboard so this could also help on this scenario.
  • I just don't see the point or need for such a device?
  • Its all about saving on Hardware Components. The laptop can be a dumb case while the Phone delivers the Power for the laptop. So it needs a way that the Phone can connect its wires in the laptop. Its a different idea as Windows Continuum. In Windows Continuum the Phone scales dynamically to full screen on a HDMI enabled screen so you can work with a bluetooth keyboard on your Office document. The Goal of Samsung and Microsoft is that you only need one device. Because a Phones screen is to small to work on the idea is to make that screen bigger by connecting a bigger screen to it. Because Android is no good replacement for Windows its useless to scale Android bigger on a connected screen. Better to connect the Phones hardware directly in a laptop casing and then Boot from the Harddisk in the laptop a full Windows version.
  • No, the idea is the exact same as Continuum.  And there is no reason Continuum couldn't do the same.  The port you use to connect the device doesn't matter as the APIs are the same either way.  This is a much worse version of what Motorola tried to do with their setup.
  • Samsung is just trying to compete with Microsoft on their own turf. (by copying Microsoft's own idea)
  • I agree with you that Android is not good replacement for Windows on a large display. That's why I think Samsung is going to use Windows on the desktop. So I see this as a competitor product for Continuum, which instead of having a Windows Phone device on the mobile side, it will have Android. I think both approaches will be good and help the Microsoft Windows ecosystem to reach a larger audience.
  • Very weird.  Does this mean the Windows OS is stored on the "doc" and uses the phone as a CPU and additional storage?
  • As long as the notebook instantly scans the whole phone for viruses on each and every docking. And then invokes a Google Blocker type of app.
  • Lmao,best comment of the day
  • They said it COULD be windows and android... Patents are written with language as vague as they can get away with to make the claims as broad as possible. I could see this being a cool set up for continuum with a high end WP.
  • Exactly! Both OSs Windows...
  • What if it is both OS's Android? I shudder to think of it.
  • ASUS tried to launch Android on the desktop in CES 2014, if you remember they launched a laptop with dual boot capability that could switch from Windows to Android without need to boot your laptop. But the truth is nobody like it, also most developers for Android platform don't make their app keyboard/mouse friendly, they only make it touch friendly.
  • lets see if they do it better then motorola and the droid/atrix laptop
  • At least you can use that gap when the phone is not docked to store chocolate bars or some cash. That protruding trackpad is a bit odd.
  • I still don't get it...
  • Or you could dock A Windows Mobile and create Windows...
  • With w10 an continuum: Good. Makes sense.
    With android and windows:joke.
  • Looks like a useless patent created just so they sue anyone that infringes on it.
  • Hmm, this makes me think. With Continuum for phones, could the phone be used as a trackpad when it's connected to a large screen?
  • I'm pretty sure they already said that it could, yes.
  • No thanks, I have no use for Android...buggy OS, with poorly written open source apps
  • What's the point in having a separate mouse pad, just use the phone touch screen...
  • So you can also use the phone as a second screen.
  • surely you could use it for both?
  • Put the phone up front, to use as a track pad.
    Make both things windows 10.
    Hdd and battery on laptop.
    A great device is born.
  • Samsung: Drop android. Make Windows 10 phones. Make a shell for docking the phone with continuum. K thanks.
  • That would be nice, If Samsung starts to build smartphones with WP again, but the truth is they have millions of Galaxy customers with Android that will have a device that will last for minimum of 3 years without a replacement (for ex. Galaxy S6 Edge with 128GB storage) . For these devices it's a good idea from Samsung since these devices can have a Office 365 license and can attach to a dock with Windows to open the full desktop version of Office when they connect their phone. Microsoft wins + Samsung wins. I think Continuum is much better since it uses same OS so it will have good features (I'm a Windows Phone user) but for Samsung Galaxy S6/Edge owners this could be great too.
  • Why the heck would anyone use android over windows 7 on a notebook let alone 10? Androids a mess.
  • Doesn't seems legit
  • Did they develop this hardware/software, or are they merely trying to patent an idea preemptively? You're not supposed to be able to patent fancy ideas but only something tangible, yet companies do try.
  • With Continuum they could do this pretty easily I'd imagine. Might be a niche, but it could be useful in some cases, like if you travel and want to be able to type and view documents on a bigger screen, but prefer not to bring both a laptop and a phone.
  • I have a Surface. Problem solved.
  • Why is this even needed now!?  Microsoft is already doing this with Windows 10!  Joe Belfiori demonstrated this with a Windows 10 phone with Continuum on stage at Build 2015.  Video is below.  
  • Yes, but this is about hardware.
  • Yes, hardware that is not needed.  Microsoft is expected to release a new flagship device that is capable of acting like a desktop when connected to a big screen monitor (either wired or wirelessly).  You will even be able to use a bluetooth keyboard and mouse.  Why would you need to "dock the phone to a laptop", when the laptop (hardware) isn't even needed with Windows 10?  Kinda of taking a step backwards don't you think?  The only reason Samsung is even considering this is because neither Google nor Apple has the SOFTWARE that Microsoft is coming up with to make ALL devices work as ONE.  Apple has MAC OS and iOS but they aren't "one" OS.  Google has Android and Chrome, but they aren't "one" OS.   Windows 10 is the first time ONE OS will work on "all" devices (Desktop, laptop, convertable, tablet, phablet, phone, xbox, Hololens, etc.).  With Samsung using Apple or Googles OSs, the BEST they can come up with to merge a phone to a desktop (two pieces of hardware) is to physically dock one with the other and then use software to make them talk to each other.   With Windows 10, the phone IS the desktop (one peice of hardware) that only needs to communicate with the big screen and keyboard & mouse.   No "docking" anything.  No software communicating with two separate operating systems that could cause problems.  Get it?  In my opinion, Samsung would do better to abandon the Android market and start making Windows 10 phones that will "morph" like the new Lumias will do.
  • Microsoft is expected to release a new flagship device that is capable of acting like a desktop when connected to a big screen monitor (either wired or wirelessly).  You will even be able to use a bluetooth keyboard and mouse.  Why would you need to "dock the phone to a laptop", when the laptop (hardware) isn't even needed with Windows 10? 
     I gave an example in another comment where your setup would be cumbersome and frankly impossible: if you travel and don't want to bring a full laptop, which is valuable (not least all the data!) and can get lost so is usually carry on on planes, etc. Just put the dock in your suitcase, and carry the phone like you normally do. When you get to where you're going, and need a bigger display and keyboard for work or demonstration purposes, you take this "laptop" out and plug in your Windows 10 phone. Or even if you mostly use it at home, it's a lot easier with a small all-in-one dock like this than the setup you describe, if you use it a lot.
  • It is "needed" as Continuum is a MS product.  Samsung clearly wants their own version of it that they can control and market.  That little thing called free market competition.
  • Great idea!
  • Well at least they have the patent
  • Just threw up in my pants...
  • This reminds me of the Moto atrix. These type of devices never caught on.
  • Keep that flimsy Korean pice of crap away from my PC. Not to mention android spyware
  • The enemy of my enemy is my friend
  • Nice idea.
  • The article should mention the patent was filed in Q3 2014, prior to Continuum.
  • Such a silly design though. Why not make the phone the touchpad...?
  • Oh, great. These blokes will now copy continuum. Typical Samsung.
  • This patent was filed Q3 2014, before the continuum announcement.  Claiming that an older idea is copying your newer one sounds a bit apple-esk to me :)
  • Awful gimmicky idea that makes no practical sense and could never work well, even if they could pull it out (no pun intended).
  • I'm all for Samsung creating such a product and marketing it. IN the commercials Samsung would be forced to explain why the need for Windows, which would legitimize Microsoft even more. Then, Microsoft could counter advertise that Windows 10 Mobile offers Continuum, so the need for a seperate dock would not be necessary.
  • Bingo.  Everytime they mention Windows, the better it is for the ecosystem.
  • This possibility just highlights Windows' role in productivity. Seems silly to waste resources on a dual OS switch mode something solution. Just offer a high end phone and a mid range phone with a "laptop" shell that is really just continuum in practice. Not sure how they win here. But if they do roll this out and complain about marketability they have no one else to blame but themselves. Put down the soju, Samsung!
  • Kill it with fire.
  • Who knows? This could probably change the world or produce new ideas in correspondence.
  • I'm sure MS is preparing a dock for a lumia 940, that would have 8" or 10" screen, with a huge battery, and a keyboard (looking like the pic above). That way they could show off continuum on their new flagship device :)
  • Tis makes sense and I hope they do.
  • Pointless. Remember Samsung's "Fastest loading PC" a few years back?
  • No thanks...
  • Samsung:  "Which phones are our best sellers? Android!"  "Which laptops are our best sellers?  Windows!"  "So if we could figure out how to get these two together, it's bound to be a winner!" But seriously, I have to assume that this had to have some bearing on the decision to design a device like this.
  • I agree. Market share has to be the reason for this. Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • Not a bad idea, but Samsung should utilize a windows device for this concept, not an android one. It would just complicate
  • The problem is that nobody bought Samsung Windows Phones. Their market share is less than 1% of the Windows Phone market.
  • If they did, then this would just be a screen and keyboard for your phone.  They could market it as an accessory for Windows 10 Mobile, like a bluetooth speaker or external monitor.   However, Laura is correct.  There would have to be a lot more Windows phones in the world before they considered your idea.
  • Haha worst mix ever :D
    Please everyone welcom Samsung to the new world with continuum for windows 10 (mobile)
  • Samsung want people to buy their products.  This type of product focuses on Samsung's highest sellers: Android products. Let's face it, right now the android market vastly exceeds the windows phone market. 
  • They're just trying to come up with a competitor to Continuum. Everyone knows that Android is crap for notebooks/PCs, and with Continuum, there will be no reason to have an Android device anymore if you can use your Windows Phone as your PC.
  • Of course we can all remember this is not the first time they tried to do something like this. But you guys remember the ideas for Continuum on Windows Phone 10? Would be great for microsoft to release something like that (make it cheap! Plz) so people could transform any Windows 10 phone into a light-desktop! I know they're all working on cables and connections to keyboard/mouse and such, but it would be great to have several of couse "nests" (mmm, Microsoft Nest, someone?) in work stations where I could't connect my Windows Phone...
  • Why don't they get a running version of Tanzen that matters before they go tampering with windows?
  • But were trying to kill the disease that is called Android, so why? Besides the fact that it only has apps, why? Google is a leech to windows desktop platform. Let it stay mobile.
  • How about wp on a windows pc...
  • So silly idea... I hate Google OS and its ideology about software and technology.
  • Who cares
  • I used to do this with my windows mobile phone
  • Wow win religion guys open your eyes. What if you could load the windows rom on your galaxy note, pull out the s pen dock it use s pen on phone as a drawing pad ect. You have a surface 3 with phone capabilities. Let's face it samsungs are far superior phones. Look at note vrs 1520 os aside Note wins on everything except camera. Price being the same 8 pixle difference is worth going to the 1520 even tho I like the square design their now going away from. Instead of looking at the window you fan boys need to start looking through it.
  • Are you on medication??
  • I see this as an opportunity for android users to embrace windows 8/10 . Imagine the number of windows phone converts could he had uf people think android is easy with a galaxy S6 and then get the dock. Why not just get a windows S6 and dock into a windows laptop. Or keep your android. Either way, it is a cool idea.
  • How is that phone able to be docked and use Windows when docked unless it's using a non-ARM chip in it, or using an ARM version of Windows? I could see it as a Samsung product proprietary to Samsung, but a dual-OS configuration is confusing in this case, not to mention the storage if the laptop is just a shell without its own storage. You could have storage in the dock, but then you lose the benefit of one device. This makes more sense if Samsung was relying on either Android or Tizen (more probable?) that can display a desktop, or if they release a Windows 10 Mobile device that supports Continuum.
  • It would be like using android to increase windows' users.