With Apple set for an entry, foldables market to zoom up by 10 times by 2023

The foldable phone market, which is still considered a niche, is, however, expected to see a near 10 times growth from its current numbers by 2023, thanks to improved design and hardware, and competitive pricing. And not to forget, by 2023 Apple is also rumoured to enter the foldables market in a big way.

But its archrival Samsung, which has a near monopolistic hold over the segment, is predicted to continue to its dominance.

Samsung, which is set to unveil its next-generation foldable smartphones at a virtual event on August 11, is projected to end the year at a staggering 88%. Samsung is scheduled to introduce its new foldable smartphones — Galaxy Z Fold3 and Galaxy Z Flip3 — at its Unpacked event Wednesday.

Samsung has already dropped hints that the upcoming foldable smartphones will have “amazing new multitasking capabilities and enhanced durability.”

Overall, according to Counterpoint Research’s latest Foldable Smartphone Shipment Forecast, the shipments for 2021 will remain in single digit, at around 9 million units. However, it will still be a 3 times growth over 2020. 

The Counterpoint research report, which says the foldable smartphone shipments will grow by 10 times in 2023, said "we expect Samsung to continue dominating with nearly 75% market share. If Apple is on track to release its foldable smartphone by 2023, it will not only be an inflection point in taking foldables mainstream but also improve the component yield and scale for the entire supply chain."

The upcoming Samsung Galaxy foldables are highly anticipated smartphones as they are expected to bring major improvements over their predecessors. “With a significant price drop, improved design, and appearance, Samsung is likely to target younger customers with the new foldable Flip smartphone. The new Galaxy Z models will get S Pen support too, which can help absorb existing Note users,” said Senior Analyst Jene Park, who leads the foldables research at Counterpoint.

With its plan to mainstream the foldable category, Samsung is expected to go for the kill in the Chinese market, where the company has little presence.

“Despite having a negligible market share, Samsung can secure Huawei’s vacant spot, and its success can contribute towards total shipment and sales volumes for its new foldables,” Park said.

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