This week the folks at Samsung have suggested - without saying so to the public - that they're not about to let ASUS leave them in the dust with a phone that docks into a tablet. While Samsung's device isn't exactly the same as the ASUS Padfone, the trademark we're seeing here doesn't put it all that far off from the mark. This filing number D685,774 suggests Samsungs machine wouldn't bring on a traditional form for the tablet dock or smartphone itself, on the other hand.
The rather interesting differentiator between ASUS' solution and the Samsung patent filing is the shape of the two components. While the ASUS machine - each of several generations of the Padfone, that is, work with a smartphone that could very well pass off for a stand-alone smartphone without the tablet, Samsung's device looks a bit more like the letter T.
With the top of the smartphone having a swoop outward to the left and to the right, this smartphone fits in with its tablet dock like a glove. The tablet then has a pocket and indents where the smartphone will slide, the final product looking a lot more like a traditional tablet - however thick - than any previous amalgamation, Samsung or ASUS-made.
This would be a logical next step for Samsung, a company that's no stranger to docking - and to docking one machine inside another in a way that makes the two seem like they belong together. With the Samsung Galaxy Note series, the S-Pen docks in the tablet flush, flat and ready to be hidden in a normal everyday day's use. The same would be true of this Samsung tablet/phone hybrid.
Samsung also brings the ATIV Q to combine the worlds of Android, Windows 8, tablet, and notebook - and it has a docking S-Pen too. The Samsung ATIV Tab 3 brings the Galaxy tablet form to Windows 8, docking this tablet in with a keyboard as well as an S-Pen to boot. What's next?