5G is not the only exciting technology that’s keeping the entire mobile industry afloat, with excitement also growing for foldable and flip phones, which analysts are now expecting to see tremendous growth in over the next five years.
In a new forecast on foldable smartphones, analyst house IDC says it expects 21.4 million devices to ship this year. That’s more than 50% up compared to last year, when 14.2 million such units shipped.
By the time we reach 2027, the world will have bought 48.1 million foldable devices, representing a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 27.6% over five years.
Heating up the race
The smartphone market has been in freefall for some time, with IDC saying that sales dropped by more than 11%, IDC says. Other market analysts are saying that there is growing demand for used devices, mostly because they’re cheaper, and other consumers believe it’s more environmentally-friendly to buy used devices.
Finally, people are happy to keep their current devices for longer, as the build quality has improved and the software is more optimized.
“The foldable phone market finished slightly higher than previously forecast as consumers start to embrace the new form factor,” said Anthony Scarsella, research manager, Mobile Phones at IDC.
“A 10% decline in ASP (average selling price) helped the market grow 75.5% in 2022, as foldable devices became more affordable in numerous markets. With new vendors and models joining the race this year, we expect the foldable market to be the one bright spot in 2023 with 50.5% growth, while the total smartphone market contracts 1.1%.”
Nabila Popal, research director with IDC’s Worldwide Tracker team also added that the recent success of current foldable phones will only mean higher demand, and new entrants to the market.
This is obviously an up-and-coming form factor: “Foldables were a key focal point at Mobile World Congress this year as vendors were eager to show off new models and concept devices. With the smartphone market declining over 11% last year, consumers need new motivation to go out and upgrade to something that can wow them. Foldable devices currently bring that ‘wow factor’ and I believe they will continue to grab more headlines and outperform non-foldable smartphones over the next five years.”