Nokia has been awarded a patent for a new clamshell phone which has a touchscreen in the place you'd normally find a keypad. This means the fold-up phone has a total of two screens, making it one versatile little gadget.

According to the patent, which was filed in May 2006 and awarded by the US Patent and Trademark Office yesterday, the new clamshell's trickery doesn't stop there. When the clamshell is opened up to 160 degrees, the bottom panel acts as a touchscreen and enables you to dial numbers and use the phone as normal.

Nokia bends the rules

But when you open it at 180 degrees, the bottom panel functions as an extended screen.

This could be the way of the future then, because LG is working on a very similar handset. And the date on Nokia's filing shows that the world's biggest handset manufacturer was at least thinking about touchscreen phones before Apple shocked the world with its iPhone design.