The Future of Foldable Smartphones: Growth, Competition, and Apple’s Enigma

The foldable smartphone market is poised for remarkable growth. In 2023, TrendForce predicts shipments to surge by 43% to reach 18.3 million units, although this represents only 1.6% of the total smartphone market. By 2024, the trend continues with 38% growth, totaling 25.2 million units and a 2.2% market share. Looking further ahead, the foldable market is expected to capture 5% of the global smartphone market by 2027.

Why the surge? It’s driven by falling production costs and Chinese brands’ strategic moves. As component expenses decrease, foldable phone prices could dip below $1,000, enticing consumers.

Branding is key here. Samsung leads with 12.5 million units but faces competition from Chinese brands like Huawei, OPPO, and Xiaomi. Huawei claims the runner-up spot with 2.5 million units and 14% market share. The pandemic has influenced Chinese brands to focus on the domestic market, but if they expand internationally, it could turbocharge the foldable market.

Then there’s Apple. Their cautious approach to foldable tech is notable. Challenges like panel uniformity and hinge design may be why. However, they might leap into medium-sized foldable products, like laptops or tablets, thanks to their commitment to user experience.

The foldable smartphone market’s growth promises technological leaps and a shift in the smartphone industry’s competitive landscape.