Foldable smartphone shipments expected to reach 27.6 million units in 2025

Shawn Knight

Posts: 14,127   +154
Staff member
What just happened? Shipments of foldable smartphones, which include both flip and fold form factors, reached 7.1 million units in 2021 according to a recent report from International Data Corporation (IDC). That’s an increase of 264.3 percent over the 1.9 million units that shipped the previous year, but there’s still a lot of ground to cover before foldables will be considered serious competitors to traditional slab smartphones.

With 7.1 million units shipped, foldables represented just 0.5 percent of the overall smartphone market share in 2021. IDC projects foldable phone shipments could reach 27.6 million units in 2025 with a market value of $29 billion. Should that forecast come to fruition, foldables would still only account for 1.8 percent of the smartphone market in 2025.

Foldable smartphones are slowly but surely gaining traction with consumers, thanks in large part to efforts by Samsung.

Samsung’s Galaxy Z Flip3 effectively lowered the cost barrier for many buyers without sacrificing quality or otherwise compromising the overall experience afforded by a foldable. Launched last August, the handset starts at $999.99 - not exactly cheap, but far less expensive than the first wave of foldables.

The more interesting battle could be between form factors: flip or fold. Nabila Popal, research director with IDC's worldwide quarterly mobile phone tracker, said that although the flip seems to be more popular at the moment, it is too early in the game to declare a clear winner. As such, vendors will have to keep a close eye on the overall market to observe how trends steer the ship.

Image credit Onur Binay

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p51d007

Posts: 3,149   +2,651
Eventually, they will get better, but I'm not spending 1,000-2000 bucks on a folding phone, just to be "hip".
 

Mr Majestyk

Posts: 1,208   +1,104
Well if they could demonstrate that foldables are durable longer term, they might see a surge in sales. By 2025 Fold alone will be about 6-7th gen, and you'd think by then it would be much more robust than today's efforts. I don't have any desire for the flip style, but a fold that was thinner and much more robust would definitely interest me.
 

kiwigraeme

Posts: 1,026   +768
I'm waiting the folding phone, with slide out extensions to double it's size again , then one more fold - so 8 times bigger - ( limit as always 7 folds ) .
Yeah these will become reliable cheap and common place - and kids will think it's no big deal and why didn't they always make them .
Why don't they make smart pull out films that graphics can raster out into it a bit like a CRT ( not sure if that idea is out there - feel free to patent it - I don't care ) - actually would be pretty crap to think about it. Great for Star wars prologue or move credits - still it could have a line trigger code - for normal image
 

terzaerian

Posts: 1,262   +1,751
I have yet to see any human person with a phone embrace this colossally stupid gimmick. At least water resistance had a use case. I am done with this paradigm.
 

Underdog

Posts: 262   +156
Well if they could demonstrate that foldables are durable longer term, they might see a surge in sales. By 2025 Fold alone will be about 6-7th gen, and you'd think by then it would be much more robust than today's efforts. I don't have any desire for the flip style, but a fold that was thinner and much more robust would definitely interest me.
It would be interesting to see a poll of how many mobile phone users actually give damn about durability or longevity given how they are so keen to change phones as soon as some new over-hyped version comes along. It appears to me that they are now considered one more disposable trinket or fashion accessory.