Global Foldable Market Expected to Grow 52% YoY in 2023

  • Global foldable shipments grow 52% to 22.7 m units.
  • Small overall but big in terms of the key ultra-premium; will pass double digits this year and rise above 20% next.
  • Key drivers will be Samsung and Chinese OEMs looking to make their mark, particularly in Europe and China.
  • Apple remains notably absent from our shorter-term forecasts.

New Delhi, Hong Kong, Seoul, London, Beijing, San Diego, Buenos Aires – December 29, 2022

Global foldable smartphone shipments are expected to grow 52% YoY in FY 2023 to reach 22.7 million units, according to Counterpoint Research’s Global Foldable Smartphone Market Forecast, Q3 2022 report.

For FY 2022, analysts at Counterpoint Research forecast that global foldable shipments will amount to 14.9 million units. Cumulative shipments in Q1-Q3 2022 grew 90% YoY to 9.5 million units, according to the recent Global Foldable Smartphone Market Tracker, Q3 2022. However, global foldable smartphone shipment growth is set to decline in Q4 2022 due to global inflation and the economic downturn.

“The numbers are tiny when put in the context of the broader market, but looking at the ever-important ultra-premium segment ($1,000 and above), we’re seeing foldable start to take hold,” notes Tarun Pathak, Director of Counterpoint’s global smartphone practice. “In that category, foldable hit double-digit shipment shares this year, and we expect it to rise above 20% in 2023.”

Global Foldable Shipment Forecast, 2023

Global Foldables Market

Sources: Global Foldable Smartphone Market Tracker, Q3 2022 and Global Foldable Smartphone Market Tracker, Q3 2022

The global foldable market will likely see stronger competition in 2023 as more Chinese OEMs are expected to enter the space. However, Samsung will continue to lead the market. HONOR, Motorola, and Xiaomi are expected to enter the foldable smartphone market outside China in earnest. Meanwhile, Huawei, OPPO, and vivo are expected to launch new foldable products in 2023. Because of the increasing competition in the foldable smartphone market, prices are expected to reduce in 2023. High prices are a major obstacle in the popularization of foldable devices.

Senior Analyst Jene Park commented on the foldable smartphone market, “In 2023, competition is set to intensify in the global foldable smartphone market as the number of participating OEMs will increase. Samsung launched the Galaxy W 23 Flip/Fold in response to the strong foldable demand in China, while Chinese OEMs are expanding to the Western European market. In light of these events, the China and Western Europe foldable markets will likely become the center of a fierce battle.”

And addressing the big question many have around Apple’s entry, Jene Park adds, “They remain absent from our short-term forecasts, but they’re known for taking their time. For now, it’s just a waiting game on guidance and listening to the rumor mill like the rest of the market.”

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