A new report revealed that foldable smartphone shipments are forecast to increase by a CAGR of 53 percent between 2021 and 2024 to exceed 30 million in 2024 worldwide.
The segment is forecast to grow by a CAGR of 122 percent between 2019, the year the first foldable products launched, and 2024. Driven by Samsung, foldable smartphone shipments reached 8.9 million in 2021. The foldable segment grew 148 percent year on year despite high price tags, while the overall smartphone market only grew 7 percent, according to market research firm Canalys.
Foldable form factors present vital differentiation for vendors to stimulate smartphone sales. They are especially appealing to early adopters and high-end users. Android vendors are under big pressure in the premium segment, as shipments of $800-plus smartphones have fallen 18 per cent below the 2019 level while iOS shipments have grown 68 per cent over the same time, -Toby Zhu, Canalys Analyst said in a statement.
Thanks to Samsung, the supply chain ecosystem for foldable devices has developed rapidly over the last few years. While there are an increasing number of suppliers for foldable displays, hinges, and other key components, device vendors are also highlighting innovative engineering solutions and product designs for a better user experience while constantly pushing down prices.
In addition to major hardware design innovations, the real battlefield for device vendors is the software user experience, which requires substantial investment in the user interface and capable software as the foldable app ecosystem is still far from optimal, – Amber Liu, Research Analyst at Canalys noted.
Major smartphone vendors are getting ready to compete in the foldable category, which will become a vital part of their high-end strategies and corporate branding. This year will see many new foldable device launches as vendors continue reducing thickness, weight, and price, which will be vital for mass-market adoption.
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The leading players will start to flex their muscles in the ecosystem to leapfrog their competitors with advanced and differentiated experiences.