Foldable mobile shipments will grow 52% in 2023 to 22.7 million

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Foldable mobile phone shipments will grow by 52% globally in 2023 compared to 2022, to 22.7 million units sold, in a year in which competition will “intensify”, but Samsung (KS:005930) will continue to lead the market, according to the forecasts of the consultancy Counterpoint Research.

The technology consultancy has reduced by more than 10 points its previous forecast, from August 2022, when it assured that in 2023 26 million units would be shipped worldwide.

With respect to this 2022, the consultancy believes that the year closed with 14.9 million units shipped, which represents an increase of almost 64% compared to the 9.1 million folding mobiles that were sold in 2021, but reduces its previous estimate by nine points.

Shipments of folding mobiles grew by 90% in the first three months of 2022 compared to the same period of 2021 to 9.5 million units, but the consultancy expects that they have fallen in the fourth quarter due to “the impact of inflation and economic recession”.

This segment will experience in 2023 a much higher growth than the mobile market worldwide, which will increase by 2% in 2023 to 1,262 million units shipped compared to the 11% drop that the consultancy forecasts for 2022, to 1,240 million mobiles.

With these forecasts, foldable smartphones will account for 1.2% of the total global mobile market in 2022 and reach 1.8% in 2023.

Although these are “small” numbers compared to the global market, Counterpoint highlights that these devices are beginning to “consolidate” in the mobile segment of more than 930 euros ($1,000), in which in 2023 it expects to account for 20% of the total.

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Counterpoint believes Samsung will continue to dominate the foldable phone segment, but there will be increased competition. In fact, the consultancy expects Honor, Motorola (NYSE:.MSI) and Xiaomi (HK:1810) bet on this market outside China, while Huawei, Oppo and Vivo will launch new products.

An increase in competition that will cause, according to Counterpoint, a decrease in prices, which are “a major obstacle in the popularization of these devices.”

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