Global foldable smartphone market will outperform the non-foldable: Will grow at a CAGR of 27.6% between 2022 and 2027

The demand for foldable phones will skyrocket in the coming years. IDC expects that shipments of foldable smartphones will increase a strong 50.7% YoY in 2023 to 21.4 million units. It would be interesting to see how the whole market equation changes once Apple and Google launch their foldable devices to fierce competition.

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Foldable smartphones are the future. The competition in the global foldable smartphone market is expected to be intensify in the next couple of years. Companies like Samsung, Oppo, and Huawei have already entered the fray, while Xiaomi, Google and Apple are almost ready to throw their hats in the ring. According to IDC, worldwide foldable smartphone shipments are estimated to increase a strong 50.7% YoY in 2023 to 21.4 million units.

The demand for foldable phones is likely to skyrocket in the following years as OEMs are leaving no stone unturned to manufacture flip and foldable devices with jaw-dropping features and specs to entice more customers. In fact, the foldable smartphone market is expected to outperform the non-foldable smartphone market in the next five years.

Shipments of foldable smartphones are projected to reach 48.1 million units by the end of 2027, clocking 27.6% CAGR between 2022 and 2027. On the other hand, the shipments of non-foldable smartphones is expected to go up from 1.2 billion in 2022 to 1.3 billion in 2027, representing a CAGR of only 2.1% between 2022 and 2027.

While the market for foldable phones is still in its infancy, shipments fell by more than 11% in 2022. This drop was primarily caused by exorbitant pricing, rising inflation, and other economic uncertainties.

With the smartphone market declining over 11% last year, consumers need new motivation to go out and upgrade to something that can wow them, said Nabila Popal, research director with IDC’s Worldwide Tracker team.

Although the average selling price (ASP) of foldable smartphones is marginally decreasing, they remain in the premium pricing segments in all regional markets. In addition, even though the ASP of foldable smartphones is predicted to fall 6.8% in 2023, IDC has seen considerable improvements in durability and build quality, as well as an improvement in overall user experience due to advancements in software and hardware across all manufacturers.

More models from both new and existing manufacturers are likely to bring additional innovations and enhancements to the sector, helping to boost the demand.

Best foldable smartphones 2023

Samsung maintains its dominant position in the global foldable smartphone market. According to another report from Canalys, the Korean electronics giant accounted for more than 77% of all foldable devices shipped worldwide, totalling over 11 million units, in 2022. The top three hottest-selling Samsung foldable phones are Galaxy Z Fold 4, Galaxy Z Flip 4 and Galaxy Z Fold3.

Motorola Razr, Oppo Find N2 Flip, Vivo X Fold, Huawei Mate X2, Xiaomi Mix Fold 2, etc., have also gained traction in the market. But it is Apple, Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) which is most likely to give Samsung, Google and other leading manufacturers a run for their money with the launch of its first foldable iPhone or iPad expected to be launched in 2025.

Most folding smartphones currently available in the market or being developed have screens ranging in size between 6 and 8 inches. Apple, on the other hand, is rumoured to be testing a foldable iPhone with a 9-inch screen. Perhaps, the Cupertino giant is trying to kill two birds with one stone.

Do you think Apple or Google have the potential to change the dynamics of the global foldable smartphone market with foldable iPhone or foldable Pixel by dethroning Samsung?



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