While Apple has yet to officially announce plans for a folding screen smartphone, longtime rival Samsung is slated to unveil a new folding screen phone for the third year in a row during its Unpacked event on Aug. 10. In a blog post-Thursday, Samsung Mobile President TM Roh said — folding screen smartphones are being chosen by a growing number of consumers in mainstream markets.
Global shipments of folding screen smartphones are already approaching 10 million in 2021, up 300 percent from a year ago, the article reads.
TM Roh expects this fast-paced growth to continue, and the company to reach a higher market share.
On the other hand, TheVerge notes that Samsung’s numbers may be slightly inflated — showing analyst Ross Young predicting 7.6 million, while IDC speculates the actual figure is around 7.1 million.
Either way, the numbers for the folding screen models seem less impressive than the 272 million total smartphones Samsung will ship in 2021.
Even so, consumer adoption of foldable devices is steadily increasing, and Samsung has a firm foothold in the space.
Ross Young said the brand accounts for 87.8 percent of folding screen phone shipments in 2021, with Huawei accounting for just 9.3 percent and Xiaomi, Zoyu and OPPO having an even smaller share.
In addition, IDC expects that by 2025, overall shipments of folding screens are expected to reach 27.6 million units. By then, it seems only a matter of time before Apple enters this market.
In fact, Apple has been working on foldable display technology for years, and has applied for several patents on this.
In April, noted analyst Ming-Chi Kuo said that Apple was actively testing foldable displays and speculated that the company’s first foldable device could be a hybrid iPhone/iPad (or just a foldable iPad).
Finally, after discussions with supply chain sources, Ross Young said earlier this year — that the long-rumored Apple foldable iPhone has been delayed until 2025, suggesting the company is in no hurry to enter the market.
Until then, Samsung will continue to try to capture more of the growing market. The Galaxy Z Fold4 / Z Flip4 in the second half of 2022 will also play an important role in the meantime.