- In 2021, foldable smartphone market is expected to grow 3X compared to 2020.
- Samsung expected to dominate with 75% share till 2023.
- Apple could enter foldable smartphone market in 2023.
Beijing, Boston, Toronto, London, New Delhi, Hong Kong, Taipei, Seoul – August 5, 2021
Samsung will unveil its next-generation foldable smartphones at a virtual event on August 11. Although the market for foldables is still niche, we expect 2021 shipments of Samsung foldable smartphones to grow significantly, driven by improved design and hardware, and competitive pricing.
According to Counterpoint Research’s latest Foldable Smartphone Shipment Forecast, the shipments for 2021 will remain in single digit, at around 9 million units. However, it will still be a 3x growth over 2020, with Samsung dominating with over 88% market share. By 2023, we expect a 10x growth in foldable smartphone shipments. Even with more OEMs entering the foldable smartphone space, we expect Samsung to continue dominating with nearly 75% market share. If Apple is on track to release its foldable smartphone by 2023, it will not only be an inflection point in taking foldables mainstream but also improve the component yield and scale for the entire supply chain.
Source – Counterpoint Research Foldable Smartphone Shipment Forecast, July 2021
The upcoming Samsung Galaxy foldables are highly anticipated smartphones as they are expected to bring major improvements over their predecessors. “With a significant price drop, improved design, and appearance, Samsung is likely to target younger customers with the new foldable Flip smartphone. The new Galaxy Z models will get S Pen support too, which can help absorb existing Note users,” said Senior Analyst Jene Park, who leads the foldables research at Counterpoint.
The premium smartphone market in China will be particularly interesting for Samsung. “Despite having a negligible market share, Samsung can secure Huawei’s vacant spot, and its success can contribute towards total shipment and sales volumes for its new foldables,” Park added.
Even as Apple and Samsung dominate the premium segment of the US smartphone market, the foldables remain very expensive, even on a monthly payment plan. “More affordable Samsung foldable smartphones may be attractive to some users, especially those who have previously purchased ‘plus’- or ‘ultra’-sized S-series or Note models. If the Flip model can be sold at a similar price point as the ‘ultra’, we might see more adoption in the future,” said Senior Analyst Maurice Klaehne, who tracks the US market.
Samsung’s President and Head of Mobile Communications Business TM Roh has already announced that the new Galaxy Z-series will focus on “epic cameras and vivid, immersive viewing experiences to long-lasting batteries and strong security”. He further confirmed that the upcoming Z-series foldable smartphones would include S Pen support, bringing new display innovation. Samsung is looking to appeal to business users and prosumers, and it makes sense as the larger canvas to interact with makes it a great productivity tool.
Counterpoint Technology Market Research is a global research firm specializing in products in the TMT (technology, media and telecom) industry. It services major technology and financial firms with a mix of monthly reports, customized projects and detailed analyses of the mobile and technology markets. Its key analysts are seasoned experts in the high-tech industry