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Foldable Phones Will Be $40 Billion Market: IDC

Samsung have almost single-handedly resurrected the humble flip phone with its Z Flip3 and Z Fold3 models, which saw worldwide shipments of foldable phones leap from 1.9 million units in 2020 to 7.1 million units last year.

This represents a 264.3 per cent increase, and has pundits from International Data Corporation forecasting that foldable phone shipments will reach 27.6 million units in 2025, with a compound annual growth rate of 69.9 per cent from 2020 to 2025.

By 2025, IDC predicts that foldable phones will be a A$40 billion market.

Foldables may only make up a half-percentage share of the total market at the moment, but, tellingly, they make up a third of the premium Android market. (IDC define ‘premium’ as US$1000+ devices.).

“The recent success of the foldable devices from Samsung has given new life to the category as competitors rush to enter the market,” said Anthony Scarsella, research manager with IDC’s Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker.

“Samsung has proven that there is consumer demand for foldable phones once they hit the right price and feature a more stable build. Thanks to its foldable devices, the Flip and the Fold have filled the Galaxy Note gap for Samsung while attracting new consumers to the brand.

“We have already witnessed other vendors launching new foldables this year, and we expect more players to attempt to take share away from Samsung as the form factor grows in popularity.”

“It will not be long before foldables, just like 5G, become a signature and expected feature of the premium Android market,” said Nabila Popal, research director with IDC’s Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker.

“While the importance of foldable is no longer in question to any brand that wants a share of the premium Android space, what is interesting to vendors now is the battle between the Flip and the Fold form factors.

“Although the Flip seems to be more popular, it is still too early in the game to declare a clear winner. Vendors should continue to keep a close eye on the overall foldable market as it continues to grow and attract new players to the market.”

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