Ten brands will launch nearly 40 foldable devices in 2023
Market research firm Canalys recently estimated that foldable smartphone shipments could more than double this year to reach 30 million units. It appears we will have twice as many different models as well. Industry experts at DSCC (Display Supply Chain Consultants) say as many as ten brands will launch a total of 37 foldable devices in 2023.
According to DSCC, seven companies sold foldable smartphones in 2022: Samsung, Huawei, Xiaomi, Honor, Oppo, Motorola, and Vivo. Google, OnePlus, and Tecno will join this roster this year. In Fact, Tecno has already launched its first foldable device. It debuted the Phantom V Fold during the Mobile World Congress (MWC) 2023 in Barcelona last week. OnePlus also took to the show to announce that it will launch a foldable smartphone in the second half of the year. Google’s rumored Pixel Fold is expected to arrive later this year too.
Overall, these ten companies will sell as many as 37 different foldable models this year. That’s almost double from 19 foldables sold last year, though most of those were limited to the Chinese market. DSCC also broke down the share of each foldable form factor in 2023. We will reportedly see 16 clamshell folding devices like Samsung’s Flip series, 20 in-folding (book-type) devices like Samsung’s Fold series, and one new out-folding device. Despite the popularity of clamshell models, companies seemingly see more incentive in making in-folding models.
Interestingly, DSCC is expecting total foldable shipments to just about reach 20 million units in 2023. It’s unclear if the firm is only considering sales of new models launched this year or 2022 and older devices too. Nonetheless, the foldable market is on the rise and growing rapidly. It may not be long before foldables become mainstream and compete with conventional candy-bar smartphones.
Samsung may finally have some competition in the foldable market
Samsung launched the world’s first globally available foldable smartphone, the Galaxy Fold in 2019. Since then, the company has gone on to launch seven more foldable devices. It will launch its fifth-gen foldables in the second half of this year. But all this while, the Korean firm hardly faced any competition in the market. As said earlier, most firms limited their initial folding phones to China. But several of them are going global in 2023, giving Samsung more competition.
Canalys recently reported that Samsung captured more than 80 percent of the global foldable market last year. That share may come down to 50-60 percent in 2023. Of course, the company will do its best to fend off the competition. It is introducing a new type of hinge that reduces the crease and makes the devices thinner. The Galaxy Z Fold 5 and Galaxy Z Flip 5 should also bring camera improvements among other things. The latter is expected to get a bigger external display as well. It remains to be seen who gives Samsung the toughest competition this year.