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Foldable phone shipments gradually rise, market penetration expected to reach nearly 5% by 2028

TrendForce reports that shipments of foldable phones are expected to reach 17.8 million units in 2024, making up only 1.5% of the smartphone market. Despite high repair rates and costs, market penetration is projected to climb to 4.8% by 2028.

Samsung, a trailblazer in the foldable phone market, commanded over 80% of the market share in 2022. However, with increasing competition from various brands in 2023–2024, Samsung’s share dropped from 60% and it now struggles to maintain 50%.

Huawei made significant strides with its 4G Pocket S in 2023, boosting its market share to 12%. In 2024, Huawei released upgraded 5G models like the Mate X5 and Pocket 2. Additionally, they are set to launch the world’s first tri-fold phone in Q3, which could potentially raise their market share to nearly 30%.

Pricing advantage helps Motorola and Nubia stand out in the 2024 foldable phone market

Other brands like Xiaomi, Oppo, and Vivo struggled to grow their foldable phone sales, with each falling below 1 million units. Meanwhile, Motorola made a strong entrance with its Razr 40 and Razr 40 Ultra—priced between CNY 3,999 to 5,699—and likely to exceed 1 million units while capturing a 6% market share.

One key factor attracting customers to foldable phones is pricing, prompting brands to focus on boosting display performance, and reducing creasing, while also cutting overall costs. Chinese brand Nubia launched the Nubia Flip in Japan this year at a competitive US$499. Besides Japan and China, Nubia has started pre-sales in various markets, with promising sales prospects. TrendForce notes that the Nubia Flip likely uses hinges from Chinese suppliers and foldable OLED panels from Chinese panel makers, significantly lowering product costs to achieve a competitive price point.

Rumors about Apple entering the foldable phone market continue to circulate. TrendForce notes that Apple is still evaluating component specifications and performance, with strict requirements for crease and reliability. Apple is unlikely to release a foldable phone before 2027, but its entry could significantly shift market dynamics. TrendForce

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