Folding cellphones are now increasingly popular with the wider public. It is predicted that in 2024, the trend of foldable smartphones will continue to increase.

From a report made by TechViral, as seen on Sunday (25/2/2024), in 2023, global foldable phone shipments will reach 15.9 million units, marking an increase of 25% YoY (years on years) and covering around 1.4% of the entire smartphone market.

In 2024 deliveries are expected to increase to around 17.7 million units, growing by 11% and increasing market share slightly to 1.5%. But this growth rate is still below market expectations with the segment expected to only exceed 2% by 2025.

There are two factors that could cause the slowdown in the growth of this folding cellphone. Firstly, due to the low durability of folding cellphones, this is what causes a lack of user trust in the product. Then, the second factor is the price which is still not in line with the majority of consumers’ pockets.

Techviral said the future of the foldable cellphone market is influenced by the pace of cost optimization. Key components such as UTGs and hinges can be mass produced after being standardized, thereby reducing costs significantly.

Additionally, increased shipments of folding panels by Chinese panel manufacturers offer price advantages over Korean suppliers. It is expected to further reduce the price of foldable phones, this will allow brands to lower selling prices and choose to accelerate the rate of market penetration.

Samsung Leads the Market, Huawei is a Serious Competitor

Samsung is still the market leader even though their market share dropped from 80% in 2022 to under 70% the following year, while Huawei’s shipments increased to 12%. Brands such as Xiaomi, Oppo and Vivo are still below 10%.

Looking ahead to 2024, Samsung is determined to maintain its foldable cellphone market share at around 60%, similar to their target in 2023. In contrast to Huawei, which is aggressively increasing its foldable cellphone shipments with a target of market share exceeding 20%.

Specifically, Oppo and Vivo have indicated that they are postponing plans to launch a smaller, vertically foldable device this year. Both chose to channel their efforts into larger, horizontally foldable models due to concerns that too high costs would impact their bottom line.

On the other hand, Huawei is on track to launch a small vertical foldable device that has 5G capabilities, this will be their debut in the compact foldable device sector and will enter the competition this year.

Although many smartphone brands have jumped into the foldable phone arena, one brand that is absent is Apple. They have not officially announced their plans for a foldable phone, although there are reports that Apple is assessing key components for a foldable device, including requesting samples and testing for panels and hinges.

TrendForce assesses that this information is still not certain that Apple will start developing their foldable cellphone products. Despite this, Apple’s potential entry into the foldable cellphone market could stimulate significant market growth.