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The official beginning of the history of folding phones can be considered not some concepts or rumors about the release, but the presentation of the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold a couple of days before the start of MWC 2019. The next day, Huawei introduced its Huawei Mate X.
Three years later, several manufacturers are already releasing their “clamshells”, and the number of models that have come out, including their new generations, is already about 20 pieces. All this indicates the growing interest of manufacturers and users in this area. But now we have another number that confirms the popularity of this type of device.
First foldable phone
Despite the emergence of new manufacturers, Samsung and Huawei have remained the main players in the foldable smartphone market since then. However, with the introduction of US sanctions against Huawei, the balance of power has changed. The company continues to make foldable devices, but they are not as popular due to their inherent limitations.
How many “clamshells” are sold
As a result, Samsung has become almost a market monopoly in this area. Total shipments of foldable smartphones in the first quarter of 2022 were 2.22 million units , according to DSCC . This is 571% more than in the same period last year. That is, sales increased almost six times in a year. Considering that such smartphones still cost around $1,000 , this growth really indicates an increase in demand for such smartphones.
best selling phone
And now it’s worth adding that 51% of the market share of foldable smartphones worldwide is accounted for by just one model – the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3. It was released last year, has excellent characteristics, but does not cost as much as the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3 and similar solutions from other manufacturers. So it became the best-selling foldable smartphone in the world.
Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3 leads the market for three consecutive quarters. Second place is also occupied by Samsung with its second folding model, which laid the foundation for this direction – Galaxy Z Fold 3. In sum, Samsung has an overwhelming market share. It sells nearly three-quarters of all foldable smartphones. More precisely, 74%. At the same time, she sells screens for other manufacturers.
Interestingly, Huawei’s market share in the foldable smartphone market is also increasing, following Samsung. In the first quarter of this year, it reached 20%. Sales of Huawei P50 Pocket played a big role in this, which also turned out to be very inexpensive, but very attractive in terms of design.
I can even assume that if it had not been deprived of Google services, then even despite the lack of protection from water, it would still take first place in sales.
Is it convenient to use a folding phone
It turns out that in total, Samsung and Huawei occupy 94% of the global foldable smartphone market. This suggests that it is still difficult for other manufacturers to compete with them, but still ahead, and a six-fold increase in sales in a year only confirms this.
DSCC researchers said that the folding screen mobile phone market is rapidly expanding. Foldable smartphone shipments are expected to grow by 107% this year to over 16 million units.
In addition, shipments of foldable smartphone panels will increase by 102% to over 20 million pieces. Samsung’s upcoming Z Flip 4 and Z Fold 4 , as well as Huawei’s new foldable models, will drive this growth.
The main advantage of foldable phones is their unusual form factor. They still surprise people and attract attention. In addition, they are very compact. If it’s a model that opens like a book, it becomes almost like a tablet, although you only carry a slightly thicker phone with you.
If it’s a model like the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3, you’re getting a compact phone that doesn’t take up space in your pocket but opens up into a regular smartphone. It may be thicker, but due to its small surface area, it is easy to carry in any pocket.
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