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HTC mum on smartphone patent rumors

TAIPEI -- Taiwanese smartphone maker HTC Corp. yesterday declined to comment on an online news report that it has obtained a patent for a dual-screen slider phone design.

Citing a report by the United States Patent and Trademark Office, the technology web magazine Engadget said HTC has received a U.S. patent for a handset with a side-sliding screen.

Unlike dual-screen handsets available on the market, the HTC design would allow a side-sliding second screen to slide out and fit into place with the front screen to form one unified display, according to the Engadget report.

Market analysts said the move to patent the design betrays HTC's interest in launching multiple screen sizes and form factors with its phones.

HTC executives, nevertheless, declined to make any comments on the patent report, saying the company does not respond to rumors or market speculation.

Industry analysts said it would take time before the HTC's reportedly patented dual-screen design can be commercialized.

Besides requiring large injections of capital, dual-screen phones tend to need special software support, analysts said.

As a result, they said, it may be more accurate to call the patent a vision of what might have been than any kind of roadmap.

For now, analysts said, HTC would be better off staying with the new HTC One, which has a fabulous design, rather than producing a non mainstream handset on a new dual-screen concept.

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