Trendforce, a renowned market research firm, has unveiled its forecast for the foldable smartphone market over the next five years, encompassing the remainder of 2023. Anticipating a notable shift, they predict shipments in 2023 to reach 18.3 million units, capturing a 1.6% market share, with a remarkable surge to 70 million units, or 5% of the global smartphone market, by 2027.
Foldable smartphones poised for remarkable market surge by 2027
This anticipated growth trajectory is underpinned by the expectation of reduced manufacturing costs and the expansion of offerings by Chinese smartphone manufacturers. As the cost of vital components, particularly panels and hinges, decreases, the retail prices of foldable smartphones are projected to fall below the $1,000 mark.
Trendforce's report also sheds light on market leader Samsung, estimating that the tech giant will push 12.5 million foldable phones in the current year, representing a two-thirds market share, albeit declining from its 82% share in 2022. Notably, contenders from China, such as Huawei with a predicted 2.5 million shipments (14% market share), and Oppo and Xiaomi (5% and 4% respectively) play a pivotal role in Samsung's market share reduction.
The dominance of Samsung is attributed, in part, to its early entry into the foldable market and the conservative approach adopted by Chinese manufacturers towards international shipments. Presently, most Chinese brands exclusively offer their foldable devices in local markets, but as they prepare to expand their reach overseas, it is expected that the foldable market as a whole will witness substantial growth.
Intriguingly, Trendforce's report also includes a mention of tech giant Apple. While Cupertino has yet to introduce a foldable iPhone, analysts speculate that its arrival will be contingent on resolving minor issues, such as panel evenness and hinge design, through collaboration with component manufacturers.