Friday, March 30, 2012
Posted by Saad Hashmi at 8:01 AM —
A common complaint prior to Mango's release was that the hardware was generally lacking in unique traits. That changed quite a bit last Fall when HTC and Nokia both offered up differentiated hardware of their own, but before that there were a few Windows Phones that did manage to stand out (for better or worse). One of them was the HTC Surround featuring a slide out speaker bar and kickstand, transforming it into an ideal media consumption device. Unfortunately most felt the rest of the phone didn't live up to its potential and it was swept under the rug quickly.
Recently however a new patent from HTC hints that the company still wants to take another shot at a premium speaker hardware experience. Patent Bolt spotted the application make its way through the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office a couple of days ago, which detailed a "future HTC device design" that incorporates stereo speakers into its configuration. As you can see in the above image there would be speakers on the left and right sides of the device when horizontal, which looks like they can't be hidden unlike the Surround which had a sliding speaker. In another image (posted after the break) there would be two strips for another stereo speaker setup as well, with a kickstand in the middle dividing each side.
According to Patent Bolt the design was submitted nearly a year ago in Q1 2011, shortly after the Surround's release, so maybe HTC was hoping for the original to be more of a success in order to produce a more realized follow up. However HTC is pushing hard with its exclusive rights to Beats Audio in smartphones, so maybe we'll see a Beats-branded Surround 2 surface after all. There's no telling if it would be a Windows Phone, but we have high hopes the quirky design will make a comeback with Metro at its side once again.
Source: Patent Bolt