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Global market for foldable phones continues to grow but at a slower poace

Global market for foldable phones continues to grow but at a slower poace

Research firm TrendForce forecasts that growth in the global foldable phone market will slow this year to 11%. That would represent a big slowdown compared to the 25% year-over-year growth in shipments that the foldable sector experienced last year. With 15.9 million foldable phones delivered in 2023, this sector made up 1.4% of overall worldwide smartphone shipments last year.
TrendForce sees shipments of foldables rising to 17.7 million units in 2024 which would raise the market share of foldable phones to 1.5% of the overall market. By 2025, foldables will capture 2% of industry shipments.

The report cites two reasons for the slowdown in foldable phone shipments. The first reason, says TrendForce, is that consumer retention is low as first-time owners of these devices have been experiencing maintenance issues with these phones. This, says the report, has led to a “lack of confidence” in foldables. The result, says the report, is that consumers aren’t buying a second foldable and are turning to flagship phones instead.

The second reason has to do with the pricing of these phones. Pricing has yet to, “reach the sweet spot for consumers,” TrendForce says. The report notes that mass production of key components such as Ultra Thin Glass and hinges could help bring down their prices eventually resulting in lower costs to consumers. Additionally, Chinese panel suppliers are increasing their shipments and these firms charge less for their foldable panels than the Korean display companies such as Samsung Display and LG Display.

Samsung remains the foldable leader despite a market share that declined from 80% in 2022 to 70% in 2023. Despite being under pressure at all times thanks to U.S. sanctions, Huawei has carved out a nice little percentage of the foldable market which stood at 12% last year. That topped Huawei’s domestic rivals such as Xiaomi, Oppo, and Vivo; the trio’s global foldable market shares are all under 10% each.
For this year, Trend Force expects Samsung to stay on top with 60.4% of the foldable market, and Huawei, which just announced its quad-camera Pocket 2 clamshell, is aiming to take 19.8% of the market with aggressive shipments of its foldable devices. Huawei is also rumored to be working on a tri-fold foldable as is Samsung and this could give the foldable market a much-needed shot in the arm.

The article was first published here

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