Foldable phone market sees 264% growth in one year, projected to reach $29 billion in value by 2025: IDC

Deepak Gupta February 18, 2022
Updated 2022/02/18 at 7:22 AM

The worldwide foldable phone market grew by over 264% between 2020 and 2021 and will reach 27.6 million units in 2025 with a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 69.9% from 2020 to 2025, according to a report. The market currently consists of flip and fold form factors with Samsung as the dominant player. The South Korean company last year introduced the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3 and Galaxy Z Fold 3 as its latest models in the new form factors that are arguably the most popular folding phones right now.

Market intelligence firm International Data Corporation (IDC) he said in its latest report, worldwide shipments of foldable phones that include flip and fold formats reached 7.1 million units in 2021. Shipments resulted in a 264.3% growth from the 1.9 million units shipped in 2020, the company said.

IDC predicted that the growth in the foldable phone category would continue over the years and reach the 27.6 million unit mark with a market value of US$29 billion (approximately Rs. 2,17,500 crore) in 2025. .

As per the data shared by the company, the share of foldable phones in the smartphone market in 2021 was 0.5%, but it is estimated to increase to 1.8% in 2025.

The CAGR of foldable phone shipments from 2020 to 2025 is also expected to be higher when compared to the 3.1% growth rate of regular smartphone shipments.

Global foldable phone market growth according to IDC

form factor 2021 shipments (in millions) Market share in 2021 2025 Remittances (in millions) Market share in 2025 CAGR 2020-2025
collapsible 7.1 0.5 percent 27.6 1.8 percent 69.9 percent
smartphone 1,341.8 99.5 percent 1,491.3 98.2 percent 3.1 percent
Total 1,348.9 100.0 percent 1,518.9 100.0 percent 3.5 percent

In 2021, the growth was largely attributed to Samsung’s success with the Galaxy Z Flip 3 and Galaxy Z Fold 3.

IDC Research Director Nabila Popal highlighted that despite a small market share, foldable phones accounted for a third of the premium Android market (over $1,000) last year.

“While Flip appears to be more popular, it is still too early to declare a clear winner,” Popal said. “Suppliers must continue to keep an eye on the overall folding market as it continues to grow and attract new players to the market.”

IDC noted that foldable phones represented the most innovative visual change to happen to smartphones. While adoption of considering foldables as replacements for a phone and tablet remains low, market vendors are targeting business users with attractive offerings in their lineup, the company said.

“The recent success of Samsung’s foldable devices has breathed new life into the category as competitors race to enter the market,” said Anthony Scarsella, Research Manager at IDC. “We’ve already witnessed other vendors releasing new foldables this year, and we expect more gamers to try to take Samsung’s share as the form factor grows in popularity.”

Last year, smartphone makers including Huawei, Oppo and Xiaomi jumped on the folding phone bandwagon by introducing their models – like the Oppo Find N, Huawei P50 Pocket and Mi Mix Fold.

Rumor has it that companies like Google will also release their foldable phones in the near future. This would increase competition between vendors and ultimately result in more choices in different price segments.

In addition to working on the hardware side, Google and Samsung are also tweaking the software specifically for foldable phones to make it more adaptable and distinctive than what we have on regular smartphones.

Google last year announced Android 12L as its operating system aimed at form factors including foldable phones. We can expect some special features aimed at foldables as part of Android 13 as well.

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