Foldable smartphone sales hit record high, Samsung's share drops

Foldable smartphone sales reached record levels in the third quarter of 2023, but Samsung might face a significant drop in market share in the fourth quarter.

Foldable smartphone sales hit record high, Samsung's share drops

The foldable smartphone market has recently witnessed a groundbreaking quarter in sales, according to the latest report from DSCC. This surge in sales, particularly during the third quarter of this year (July to September), has been largely driven by the release of Samsung's Galaxy Z Fold5 and Z Flip5. Additionally, the increasing competition from Chinese manufacturers has played a crucial role in this uptick.

In a remarkable growth, foldable smartphone sales soared by 215% compared to the second quarter of 2023 and saw a 16% increase compared to the same quarter last year. This surge led to the sales of 7 million units, surpassing the previous high of 6.1 million units recorded in the year-ago quarter.

Samsung, a dominant player in the foldable market, had a 72% market share, though this was a decline from its 86% share last year. Following Samsung was Huawei with a 9% share and Honor closely behind at 8%. Notably, Samsung's Z Flip5 and Fold5 were the two best-selling models, accounting for 45% and 24% of the market, respectively. Huawei's Mate X3 and Honor's Magic V2 also made a significant impact, each securing a 6% share.

Foldable smartphone sales hit record high, Samsung's share drops

Looking forward to the fourth quarter of the year, DSCC anticipates a 35% decrease in foldable smartphone sales compared to the third quarter, despite expecting a 47% rise compared to the fourth quarter of 2022. This forecasted decline is attributed to lower-than-expected shipments from Samsung and delays in new product launches. Consequently, Samsung's market share is predicted to drop to 42%, a substantial decrease from last year's 83%.

In contrast, Huawei and Honor are expected to see significant gains in market share, rising to 21% and 19%, respectively. The upcoming Mate X5 is projected to climb to the second position in model rankings with a 15% market share, following the Z Flip 5 at 22% and surpassing the Fold5. The Honor Magic V2 is also expected to rise in ranking, overtaking the Fold5, which is predicted to hold a 12% market share.

For the entirety of 2023, the forecast suggests a 23% increase in foldable sales compared to 2022, reaching a total of 15.8 million units. The top five models for the year are expected to be, in order, the Galaxy Z Flip5, Z Fold5, Z Flip4, Honor Magic V2, and the Huawei Mate X5.

This significant growth in the foldable smartphone market indicates a shift in consumer preferences and highlights the increasing importance of innovation in the smartphone industry.

Galaxy Z Fold 5