Foldable Phones Battle For Market Share: Samsung Leads, Apple Absent – Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL), Motorola Solns (NYSE:MSI), (SSNGY)

The smartphone industry is looking to revive the market by betting on the potential of “foldable” phones. These devices, featuring screens that open like a book, have been on the market for a few years but have struggled to capture mainstream consumer interest. Currently, they constitute just over 1% of the global smartphone market, according to a report by The Financial Times.

Despite the slow adoption, major players in the industry such as Samsung, Motorola, Huawei, and Honor are heavily investing in foldables to rejuvenate the mobile market. Samsung, the world’s largest smartphone manufacturer, believes that foldable devices may constitute a third of smartphones priced above $600 by 2027.

While foldables are gaining traction in premium segments in certain markets like the US and China, they are far from being mainstream. Counterpoint Research estimates the sale of around 16 million foldable phones this year, constituting only 1.3% of the 1.2 billion smartphones expected to be sold globally in 2023.

Concerns about pricing, reliability, and utility are deterring consumers from embracing foldable phones. The durability of flexible screens and mechanical hinges remains a challenge, leading to higher return rates compared to traditional smartphones. Convincing consumers to pay premium prices for foldable devices is a hurdle that the industry needs to overcome.

Chinese manufacturers like Honor and Huawei have found a more receptive market for foldables in China, with sales doubling in the third quarter of 2023 compared to the same period last year. However, Samsung continues to dominate the global foldables market, holding a 73% share in the quarter.

Foldables are seen as a source of innovation in a market hungry for excitement. They contribute to the polarization between premium devices dominated by Apple and lower-cost handsets. Despite the slower adoption, the industry remains optimistic about the potential of foldable phones to breathe life into the sluggish mobile market.

In conclusion, while foldable phones have struggled to gain mainstream consumer interest, the smartphone industry is betting on their potential to revive the market. Major players like Samsung, Motorola, Huawei, and Honor are heavily investing in foldables, but concerns about pricing, reliability, and utility remain. The industry sees foldables as a source of innovation and excitement in a market hungry for new experiences.

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