Samsung says 10 million foldable smartphones shipped in 2021 ahead of Galaxy Fold 4, Flip 4 Unpacked launch

Samsung will launch its next foldable smartphones — the Galaxy Z Fold and the Galaxy Z Flip — at the Unpacked event on August 10.

Samsung says 10 million foldable smartphones shipped in 2021 ahead of Galaxy Fold 4, Flip 4 Unpacked launch
The Korean electronics major had an 87.8% share of the foldable phones shipped, DSCC data showed. (Reuters)

The foldable smartphone segment is blowing up with more people opting for it, Samsung said, as it builds up the hype machine ahead of the launch of its next foldable series next month.

Samsung’s Mobiles division President TM Roh, in a blog post, said: “Three years ago, Galaxy foldables could be summed up in a single word: radical.”

“Very quickly, however, it became clear that this groundbreaking, flexible design fit perfectly into modern lifestyles. As a result, what was once a novelty three years ago is now the preferred choice for millions.”

Roh added in his post that the industry shipped almost 10 million foldable phones across the globe during 2021, a 300% increase from 2020. Samsung might well be overstating the market with display tech analyst and DSCC CEO Ross Young telling The Verge that the actual shipments were around 7.9 million. IDC, on the other hand, said foldable smartphone shipments hit 7.1 million units last year. The figures represent a fraction of the overall smartphone market — Samsung alone shipped 272 million smartphone units in 2021, according to IDC data.

But Samsung does hold an overwhelming lead in the foldable market, Ross’ data suggests. The Korean electronics major had an 87.8% share of the foldable phones shipped, DSCC data showed. Huawei was a distant second with 9.3%. The bottom three manufacturers on DSCC’s list — Xiaomi (2.4%), Royole (0.3%), and Oppo (0.2%) — had just a tiny share. IDC expects the foldable segment shipments to hit 27.6 million in 2025 and Samsung wants to capture the biggest share of that potential market.

Samsung will launch its next foldable smartphones — the Galaxy Z Fold and the Galaxy Z Flip — at the Unpacked event on August 10.

Apple is also exploring the foldable segment, reports suggest, but any release is likely to be at least a away, making Samsung’s Unpacked event another opportunity for it to keep ahead of its rivals.

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