Worldwide Market for Foldable Phones Forecast to Reach 27.6 million Units with a Market Value of $29 Billion in 2025, According to IDC

NEEDHAM, Mass. February 16, 2022 – International Data Corporation (IDC) witnessed worldwide shipments of foldable phones, inclusive of both flip and fold form factors, reach a total of 7.1 million units in 2021. This represents an increase of 264.3% over the 1.9 million units shipped in 2020. new forecast from IDC projects foldable phone shipments will reach 27.6 million units in 2025 with a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 69.9% from 2020 to 2025.

The growth in 2021 can largely be attributed to Samsung’s recent success, as the Korean giant made waves in the market thanks to its newest foldable flagships. The new design of the Flip3 was a winner for consumers thanks to its compact folding size (pocketable), larger second display, and most importantly its $999 price tag. The new Fold3 also saw vast improvements but remains much higher in price and more of a niche product overall.

Despite their small market share, foldables represent a major opportunity for vendors. From the consumer point of view, foldables represent the most innovative visual change to happen to smartphones and therefore it is a segment that cannot be ignored by vendors. The commercial segment has also seen foldables being marketed as a replacement for both a phone and a tablet. Although IDC believes adoption of this use case remains low, vendors have made some enticing offers on the latest lineup of foldables that are explicitly targeting business users.

“The recent success of the foldable devices from Samsung has given new life to the category as competitors rush to enter the market,” said Anthony Scarsella, research manager with IDC’s Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker. “Samsung has proven that there is consumer demand for foldable phones once they hit the right price and feature a more stable build. Thanks to its foldable devices, the Flip and the Fold have filled the Galaxy Note gap for Samsung while attracting new consumers to the brand.We have already witnessed other vendors launching new foldables this year, and we expect more players to attempt to take share away from Samsung as the form factor grows in popularity.”

Worldwide Foldable Phone Shipments, Market Share, and Growth Forecast (shipments in millions of units)

Form Factor

2021 Shipments*

2021 Market Share*

2025 Shipments*

2025 Market Share*

2020-2025 CAGR*

foldable

7.1

0.5%

27.6

1.8%

69.9%

Smartphone

1,341.8

99.5%

1,491.3

98.2%

3.1%

Total

1,348.9

100.0%

1,518.9

100.0%

3.5%

Source: IDC, Worldwide Foldable Smartphone Forecast, 2021–2025, Feb 2022.

Table Notes:

* Forecast projections.

Data is subject to change.

“Although foldables did not capture a significant share of the market with 7.1 million devices shipped in 2021, they made up a third of the premium ($1,000+) Android market. So, it will not be long before foldables, just like 5G, become a signature and expected feature of the premium Android market,” said Nabila Popal, research director with IDC’s Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker. “While the importance of foldable is no longer in question to any brand that wants a share of the premium Android space, what is interesting to vendors now is the battle between the Flip and the Fold form factors. Although the Flip seems to be more popular , it is still too early in the game to declare a clear winner. Vendors should continue to keep a close eye on the overall foldable market as it continues to grow and attract new players to the market.”

The IDC report, Worldwide Foldable Phone Forecast, 2021–2025 (Doc #US48823622), provides an overview and five-year forecast of the worldwide foldable phone market and its expansion and growth by 2025. This study also provides a look at future demand for the category, along with key players and the impact they will have on other vendors, carriers, and both consumers and business users.

About IDC

International Data Corporation (IDC) is the premier global provider of market intelligence, advisory services, and events for the information technology, telecommunications, and consumer technology markets. With more than 1,200 analysts worldwide, IDC offers global, regional, and local expertise on technology, IT benchmarking and sourcing, and industry opportunities and trends in over 110 countries. IDC’s analysis and insight helps IT professionals, business executives, and the investment community to make fact-based technology decisions and to achieve their key business objectives. Founded in 1964, IDC is a wholly owned subsidiary of International Data Group (IDG), the world’s leading tech media, data, and marketing services company. To learn more about IDC, please visit www.idc.com. Follow IDC on Twitter at @IDC and LinkedIn. Subscribe to the IDC Blog for industry news and insights.

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