Foldable Smartphone Shipments To Exceed 30 Million In 2024: Canalys

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In 2021, the foldable segment grew 148 percent year-on-year despite high price tags, while the overall smartphone market only grew 7 percent

Foldable smartphone shipments are forecast to increase by a CAGR of 53 percent between 2021 and 2024 to exceed 30 million in 2024, according to a report by Canalys.

The segment is forecast to grow by a CAGR of 122 percent between 2019, the year the first foldable products launched, and 2024.

Driven by Samsung, foldable smartphone shipments reached 8.9 million in 2021. The foldable segment grew 148 percent year-on-year despite high price tags, while the overall smartphone market only grew 7 percent.

“The key catalyst for foldable smartphones has been the booming use of large-screen devices during the pandemic,” said Runar Bjørhovde, Research Analyst at Canalys.

“Foldable form factors present vital differentiation for vendors to stimulate smartphone sales. They are especially appealing to early adopters and high-end users,” said Toby Zhu, Canalys Analyst.

“Android vendors are under big pressure in the premium segment, as shipments of US$800-plus smartphones have fallen 18 percent below the 2019 level while iOS shipments have grown 68 percent over the same time. Google and the major Android device vendors must double down on their investments in differentiated hardware and state-of-the-art user experiences to keep appealing to high-end customers.”

“In addition to major hardware design innovations, the real battlefield for device vendors is the software user experience, which requires substantial investment in the user interface and capable software as the foldable app ecosystem is still far from optimal. Last November, Google’s Android Dev Summit brought many new features for foldable and dual-screen app developers, providing a vital booster for this category with promising user experience improvements likely to come soon,” said Amber Liu, Research Analyst at Canalys.

“Major smartphone vendors are getting ready to compete in the foldable category, which will become a vital part of their high-end strategies and corporate branding. We expect this year will see many new foldable device launches as vendors continue reducing thickness, weight and price, which will be vital for mass-market adoption. The leading players will start to flex their muscles in the ecosystem to leapfrog their competitors with advanced and differentiated experiences,” said Liu.

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