There seem to be signs of trouble for foldable smartphones. IDC predicts that 41.5 million foldable smartphones will be shipped by 2026. Providing the market hope that new form factors would catch on with customers and companies.

According to the most recent data from IDC, shipments are expected to rise by 2/3 to 13.5 million in 2022. That is before increasing at a rate of 38.7% per year for the next four years.

Many manufacturers have turned to foldable gadgets as a method to provide fresh experiences for customers who might not be enticed to upgrade to another “slate” gadget that has become the industry standard.


Signs of trouble for foldable smartphones

Since these products often fall under the premium category, suppliers should expect higher profit margins.

The most renowned supporter of foldable phones is Samsung. Samsung has released multiple iterations of its Galaxy Z Flip and Fold gadgets. The Flip 4 and Fold 4, the most latest iterations of these phones, were introduced in August 2022. They received favorable reviews as well as a big marketing push.

Although they have only really focused on China, Huawei and Oppo have also dabbled with this market. For a wider rollout, Oppo has stated that increased assistance from app developers is required.

IDC predicts that Samsung’s most recent products would perform better than their predecessors and raise consumer awareness. It also thinks that businesses will be interested in two-in-one gadgets that can take the role of both smartphones and tablets.

According to Anthony Scarsella, research manager for IDC’s Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker, “the recent debut of the Galaxy Z Flip 4 and Fold 4 will once again cast a spotlight on the whole category as Samsung continues to be the gold standard for foldable devices in the market.”

“The new launches from Samsung have brought incremental but critical improvements over their predecessors. The success of these devices should be a strong indicator of how foldables will evolve and capture consumers moving forward. While the price remains a pain point for consumers, the $999 starting price may be accepted by consumers given that most consumer goods have seen price increases due to inflation in 2022.”