Samsung, Motorola and Huawei hope foldables will revitalize the smartphone market

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Major smartphone manufacturers are hoping foldables will excite consumers, driving purchases

Across many major smartphone companies foldables are in the conversation and for good reason. It’s reported that the likes of Samsung, Motorola, Huawei, etc. hope that foldable smartphones can help revive what’s considered a “lacklustre” market.

Companies such as Samsung continue to invest in both foldable smartphones and new-era flip-style devices. This year, the South Korean tech giant launched its Galaxy Z Fold 5 and Z Flip 5. In a recent report, Samsung said it will “continue to position our foldables as a key engine for our flagship growth.” Currently, the company owns the market share of foldables with 73 percent, according to Canalys.

Foldable smartphones only make up an estimated one percent of the smartphone market. Estimates from Counterpoint Research note that foldable devices may surpass a third of all smartphones over $600 by 2027.

Other major brands also aim to offer foldables reignite interest in the smartphone market. 2023 marked a decline in smartphone sales in Canada. It’s reported that economic restraints and lower spending patterns attributed to a drop of four percent year-over-year. Motorola, Huawei and spinoff brand Honor hope foldables can help drive sales in the market.

There’s one major company that doesn’t seem too keen on entering the foldable market, and that’s Apple. Despite numerous rumours of prototyping a foldable iPhone, Apple appears resistant to bringing a folding smartphone to the market. Instead, the company may develop a foldable iPad. A release may be as early as this year.

Apple’s hesitation isn’t exactly unwarranted. The market is somewhat receptive to devices like the previously mentioned Galaxy Z series, Pixel Fold and Motorola’s Raz+. However, analysts show that return rates for foldables are around five to 10 percent, which is higher than traditional smartphones. This may be due to durability, form factor, or other factors.

While manufacturers continue to invest in foldables, there appears to be an inherent need to break through to the general consumer. A lack of widespread adoption may prove challenging for smartphone makers in the coming years. Alternatively, foldables could stay a niche smartphone category.

Source: Financial Times


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