All major smartphone makers except Apple are betting that “foldable” phones can help revive a lackluster mobile market, even though they still fail to appeal to mainstream consumers.
Almost five years after they were first introduced, foldable smartphones with screens that open like books or compact mirrors now account for just over 1% of the market share of all smartphones sold worldwide. yeah.
But Samsung has been ramping up the product’s development this year and investing heavily in its marketing. In July, the South Korean group released the 5G Galaxy Z series.
The world’s largest smartphone maker points to estimates from Counterpoint Research that by 2027, one-third of smartphones priced over $600 could surpass foldable devices.
“We continue to position foldable devices as a key driver of flagship product growth due to the clear differentiation, experience and flexibility these devices offer,” Samsung said.
Other device makers, including Motorola, China’s Huawei and its spinoff Honor, are also pinning their hopes on the product to revive a market that has suffered its worst year in more than a decade.
“This year, people [in the industry] I’m really hooked,” said CCS Insight analyst Ben Wood. “Everyone is betting on this now except Apple.”
The iPhone maker hasn’t shown any interest in the category yet, but patent filings suggest it may someday launch an iPad that folds in half. All other major smartphone manufacturers have followed Samsung into the market, including Google’s Pixel Fold and Chinese alternatives from Huawei, Oppo and Xiaomi.
Bond Chan, Honor’s UK CEO, said: “We believe that foldables are the future of smartphone devices, just as electric cars were to the car industry.” Stated. “We are approaching a critical tipping point where foldables could soon become mainstream.”
However, market data shows that foldable devices are still far from mainstream. Counterpoint Research predicts that approximately 16 million foldable phones will be sold this year, just 1.3% of the total smartphone market of 1.2 billion. Analysts say consumers are deterred by concerns about price, reliability and practicality.
“I think there are too many products chasing too little market share at this point,” Wood said.