The data leaves no doubt: folding mobiles are beginning to cease to be a niche business. Samsung’s efforts to boost this market, with a price cut last August when it launched the third generation of the Galaxy Z Fold and Galaxy Z Flip, have begun to pay off. Only in the third quarter of this year 2.6 million smartphones foldable, according to the latest report from Display Supply Chain (DSCC). The figure represents having sold much more than in the last four previous quarters combined, in addition to growing 215% compared to the second quarter and 480% compared to the previous year.
The good figures for this business do not stop there. DSCC estimates that shipments will be even higher in the last quarter of the year, with an increase of 47% compared to the third quarter and 3.8 million units sold. And it raises its forecast for 2022 to 17.5 million folding smartphones sold, which will mean a growth of 131%.
This analysis firm points out that Samsung will conclude 2021 with a 95% share of this market, after closing the third quarter with a 93% share, especially thanks to the strong pull of its Galaxy Z Flip 3 mobile, which with a price of less than 1,000 euros, 31% lower than the Z Flip 5G, accounted for 60% of the total shipments of folding mobile phones globally. The other terminal of the South Korean company that stands out and occupies the second position in sales in this category that “emerges quickly”, according to DSCC, is the Galaxy Z Fold 3. Among the six best-selling folding mobile phones there are two others from Samsung and two from Huawei. The one that stands out the most from this firm is the Mate X2 4G, fourth in the ranking.
The experts consulted agree that the “substantial evolution” experienced by folding models (more robustness, better features adapted to the double screen and tighter prices) is helping to develop this segment, and they foresee that the arrival of new proposals from the hand of these and other manufacturers finish pushing this category of mobile, “which has come to stay,” as they point out.
Only in this month of December, Huawei and Oppo have launched each smartphones foldable. The first one, one of the pioneers in this segment by releasing its Mate X in 2019, has just launched the P50 Pocket, a “shell” mobile designed to be used vertically. And the Chinese Oppo now disembarks in the category with its Find N. At the moment, both phones are only marketed in China and their prices are still high for more massive consumption: 1,245 euros the first and 1,067 euros the second. Both companies join the small group of folding smartphone manufacturers, which already included, in addition to the aforementioned Samsung and Huawei, Motorola and Xiaomi.