According to International Data Corporation (IDC), global shipments of foldable smartphones with flexible screens will reach 13.5 million units in 2022, up 66.6% from 8.1 million units in 2021. According to IDC forecasts, flexible smartphone shipments will reach 41.5 million units in 2026, and their compound annual growth will be 38.7% from 2022 to 2026.
Samsung remains the leader in flexible devices with its Galaxy Flip and Galaxy Fold lines, and the idea of using such gadgets as both smartphones and tablets is gaining popularity. Growth is expected to be 55.1% next year and will continue at double-digit rates in the future. According to experts, while the initial price of $999 poses a significant obstacle to the mass adoption of such smartphones, buyers can bear this cost amid the general rise in inflation in 2022.
Though sales of flexible smartphones are expected to grow nearly 70% in 2022, experts say they won’t become mainstream any time soon. This niche is now dominated by sub-$400 models, and lowering the price of folding options will not lead to anything good, as it will inevitably have a negative impact on profits and product quality, as well as user experience. The prevailing opinion in the professional world is that flexible smartphones should remain a niche premium product for a long time to come and that developers should work on improving their quality in order to build trust with the public.
According to IDC projections, 13.5 million flexible smartphones will ship in 2022 — 1.1% of the 1.352 billion expected to ship this year. Furthermore, the company expects that the market share of such models will still be under 3% by the end of the period, so the related technologies will not take the lead in the industry any time soon.