Foldable Smartphones 2024: Samsung Leads While Apple Lags

Foldable Smartphones

Samsung Electronics recently became the leading manufacturer of foldable phones (a kind of mutable smartphone that can be closed and opened like a book), especially after the release of Galaxy Z Flip 5 onto which they invested a high amount of money.

On the other hand, Apple remains the main player in the field of tablet market hinting that they might create some sort of foldable device in the future after the successful release of iPhone 15.

Over the past year, even though Apple was on top in producing tablets, the company found out a 16.8% drop in their tablet shipments. This decline is, however, less severe than the overall market’s 29.9% depression. Nevertheless, Apple decided to overcome the drop and developing a foldable iPhone is an effective strategy for this.

According to DigiTimes, if Apple becomes successful in developing foldable devices, it can significantly boost the augmentation in iPad shipments that would result in a contributing factor in the global tablet sales, which has been on a declining trend for a long time.  At the same time, Apple is determined to reach the progress level of Samsung, Motorola and Google in the field of foldable device production. According to Ross Yung, the analyst of Display Supply Chain Consultants, the estimated release time of this foldable iPhone is 2025 or beyond. 

Conversely, Samsung already released several foldable phones like Galaxy Fold, Galaxy Z, Galaxy Z Flip 4, and Samsung W23 that reached the market share to 70% in 2023, as mentioned in Statista report. Moreover, Galaxy Z Flip 5 and Galaxy Z Fold 5 were the two top selling smartphones in 2023 that occupied 45% and 24% market share respectively.

Furthermore, a report says that Samsung was successfully able to sell 1.02 million combined units of the above mentioned two smartphone models. All these rises contributed to the overall global smartphone  market share too.

 According to Counterpoint Quarterly Research, in 2023, global smartphone market share for Apple is 16%, whereas for Samsung it is 20%. For Vivo, Xiaomi, and Oppo the percentage is 7%, 13% and 14% respectively. 

However, apart from Apple and Samsung, some other manufacturers are also trying to join in the competition of developing foldable phone models. Among them, Chinese manufacturers like Huawei, Oppo and Xiaomi are worth-mentioning, but their market share is relatively lower than Samsung.

While Samsung foldable smartphones have 70% market share, Huawei has only 14% and Oppo and Xiaomi are lower than 14%. Note that Google also released its first foldable phone named “Pixel Fold” on 28th June, 2023.

To conclude, Apple is still focused on producing their iconic non-foldable tablet devices or iPhones, but they still did not leave the thought of developing foldable smartphones to boost their sales. Conversely, the leading smartphone company Samsung became a role model in producing foldable smartphones and similar tech companies like Huawei, Oppo, Xiaomi, Google are following Samsung.

This phenomenon is inspiring Apple to develop foldable smartphones and whether Apple will really create foldable devices or not, time will answer this question. 

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Student author with analytical mindset, critical philosophical depth and unique ideas. My interest revolves around computer science, neuroscience, healthcare, statistics and research. Hobby is to compose and listening to music.

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