According to Counterpoint research, the global market for folding screen phones is expected to grow 52 percent year-over-year to 22.7 million units in 2023. While the overall size is small, it is not to be underestimated in the key ultra-high-end market; it is expected to reach a double-digit market share this year and more than 20 percent next year. Samsung and Chinese OEMs, which are eyeing this market (especially in Europe and China), will be the main driving forces. Apple remains out of the report’s short-term forecast.
Global folding screen smartphone shipments are expected to grow 52 percent year-over-year to 22.7 million units in fiscal 2023. And global folding screen phone shipments will reach 14.9 million units in fiscal 2022. Cumulative shipments from Q1 to Q3 2022 are up 90 percent year-over-year and now stand at 9.5 million units, according to the report. However, due to global inflation and the economic downturn, the growth of global folding screen smartphone shipments is bound to decline in the fourth quarter of 2022.
This volume may be insignificant in the context of the overall smartphone market, but if you consider the ultra-high-end market ($1,000 or $7,000 and up), which has always been significant, we see that folding screen phones are starting to dominate,” said Tarun Pathak, director of Counterpoint’s global smartphone business. In that segment, folding-screen phones are shipping a double-digit share this year, and we expect that number to grow to more than 20 percent in 2023.”
The report notes that more Chinese OEMs are expected to enter the market, so the global folding screen phone market is bound to become more competitive in 2023. However, Samsung is expected to continue to lead the market. Honor, Motorola and Xiaomi will aggressively enter the folding screen smartphone market outside of China. Meanwhile, Huawei, OPPO and Vivo are expected to launch new folding screen phone products in 2023. Given the increasingly competitive folding screen smartphone market, prices are expected to become more affordable in 2023. High prices have been a major obstacle to the popularity of folding screen devices.
Commenting on the folding screen smartphone market, senior analyst Jene Park said, “Competition in the global folding screen smartphone market is expected to intensify in 2023 as more OEMs enter the market. Samsung has launched the Galaxy W 23 Flip/Fold to meet the demand for folding screen phones in China, while Chinese OEMs are targeting Western European markets. Given these developments, the Chinese and Western European folding screen phone markets may be at the center of a fierce battle.”
In response to the popular question many are asking about Apple’s entry, Jene Park added, “The company is still not covered in our short-term forecast, but they are known for their slow pace, and their current strategy is to wait for the opportunity to move and actively follow the moves just like the rest of the market.”