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The foldable phone market grew 264% in a year and is projected to be worth $29 billion by 2025: IDC

According to the report, the global foldable phone market has grown by more than 264 percent between 2020 and 2021 and will reach 27.6 million units in 2025, with a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 69.9 percent between 2020 and 2025. year. The market currently consists of flip and flip form factors, with Samsung being 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 new form factors that are arguably the most popular foldable phones right now.

Market research firm International Data Corporation (IDC) said its latest report says that in 2021, global shipments of foldable phones, which include both flip and foldable form factors, have reached 7.1 million units. Shipments were up 264.3 percent from 1.9 million units shipped in 2020, the firm said.

IDC predicts that the growth of the foldable phone category will continue for many years to reach 27.6 million units with a market value of a whopping $29 billion (roughly Rs. 217,500 crores) in 2025.

The share of foldable phones in the smartphone market was 0.5 percent in 2021, but is estimated to increase to 1.8 percent in 2025, according to data provided by the firm.

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

Growth of the global foldable phone market according to IDC

Shape Factor Shipments 2021 (millions) 2021 Market share Shipments 2025 (millions) 2025 Market share SGTR 2020-2025
folding 7.1 0.5 percent 27.6 1.8 percent 69.9 percent
Smartphone 1341.8 99.5 percent 1491.3 98.2 percent 3.1 percent
Total 1348.9 100.0 percent 1518.9 100.0 percent 3.5 percent

Growth in 2021 was largely due to Samsung’s success with the Galaxy Z Flip 3 and Galaxy Z Fold 3.

Nabila Popal, research director at IDC, stressed that despite their small market share, foldable phones accounted for a third of the premium (over $1,000) Android market last year.

“While Flip seems to be more popular, it’s still too early to announce a clear winner,” Popal said. “Suppliers should continue to keep a close eye on the overall foldable market as it continues to grow and attract new players to the market.”

IDC noted that foldable phones represent the most innovative visual change that has ever happened to smartphones. The company said that while the use of foldable devices as phone and tablet replacements remains low, vendors in the market are targeting business users with enticing offerings in their lineup.

“The recent success of Samsung’s foldable devices has breathed new life into this category as competitors race to enter the market,” said Anthony Scarsella, research manager at IDC. “We have already seen other vendors launch new foldable devices this year, and we expect more players to try to take a share from Samsung as this form factor grows in popularity.”

Last year, smartphone makers including Huawei, Oppo, and Xiaomi joined the foldable phone favorite with the introduction of their models, namely the Oppo Find N, Huawei P50 Pocket, and Mi Mix Fold.

Rumor has it that companies, including Google, will release their own foldable phones in the near future. This will increase competition among suppliers and ultimately lead to more choice in different price segments.

In addition to working on the hardware, Google and Samsung are also improving the software specifically for foldable phones to make it more responsive and different from what we have on regular smartphones.

Last year, Google announced Android 12L as its operating system, targeting form factors including foldable phones. We can expect some special features meant for foldable devices to also be part of Android 13.

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