The Korea Herald


Samsung drives 63% surge in foldable phone sales in Q3

By Jie Ye-eun

Published : Dec. 27, 2022 - 15:38

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A promotional image of Galaxy Z Fold 4 smartphones (Samsung Electronics) A promotional image of Galaxy Z Fold 4 smartphones (Samsung Electronics)

Global shipments of foldable smartphones shot up more than 60 percent in the third quarter this year, despite the stagnant smartphone market, owing to high sales of Samsung Electronics’ foldable devices, according to industry tracker Counterpoint Research on Tuesday.

From July to September, foldable smartphone shipments worldwide surged about 63 percent on-year to 6.08 million units. Although the global smartphone market posted stagnant sales, foldable items accounted for 2 percent of the total smartphone sales during the cited period, up from last year’s 1.1 percent, the report showed.

The market researcher said the phenomenon was largely due to robust demand for Samsung’s Galaxy Z Fold 4 smartphones. The foldable device’s shipment jumped over 60 percent through the cited period. Foldable phone shipments by Chinese companies also attributed to increasing the figure.

While Samsung has been a dominant leader in the world’s foldable smartphone market, global foldable phone competitors rush to roll out new devices to compete against the world's No. 1 player. They seek to sharpen competitiveness with less expensive and high-spec phones.

According to foreign news reports and industry sources, Chinese rival Honor unveiled its second foldable device Honor Magic that folds vertically into a square shape like the Galaxy Z series. The smartphone also supports a stylus pen.

Recently, the neighboring country’s other top smartphone makers -- Huawei and Vivo -- launched their new foldable phones, Pocket S and Vivo X Fold Plus, respectively. The soon-to-be-released Oppo’s Find N2 also looks to take on global competitors like the Galaxy Z Flip 4 and Razr 2022.

Along with the Chinese companies, Samsung’s long-time global partner Google is looking to join the foldable phone race as well. According to a report by Android Authority, Google is reportedly considering adding a foldable model to its Pixel phone lineup that will be launched in the coming years.

Despite the fiercely competitive market, both industry and experts predict Samsung would keep its absolute advantage for the time being. Counterpoint Research expects almost 16 million foldable smartphones will be shipped worldwide this year, up nearly 73 percent from a year earlier.

Out of the total, Samsung’s market share accounted for 62 percent in the first half and its market share in the latter half is expected to reach up to 80 percent, according to the industry tracker.