Global foldable smartphone shipments are expected to grow 52 per cent (YoY) in FY2023 to reach 22.7 million units, a report showed on Thursday.
Key drivers will be Samsung and Chinese original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) looking to make their mark, particularly in Europe and China, according to Counterpoint Research.
For FY 2022, global foldable shipments will reach 14.9 million units. Cumulative shipments in Q1-Q3 2022 grew 90 per cent YoY to 9.5 million units.
However, global foldable smartphone shipment growth is set to decline in Q4 2022 due to global inflation and the economic downturn.
"The numbers are tiny when put in the context of the broader market, but looking at the ever-important ultra-premium segment ($1,000 and above), we're seeing foldable start to take hold,a said Tarun Pathak, Director of Counterpoint's global smartphone practice.
"In that category, foldable hit double-digit shipment shares this year, and we expect it to rise above 20 per cent in 2023," he added.
The global foldable market will likely see stronger competition in 2023 as more Chinese OEMs are expected to enter the space.
However, Samsung will continue to lead the market. HONOR, Motorola, and Xiaomi are expected to enter the foldable smartphone market outside China in earnest, said the report.
Meanwhile, Huawei, OPPO, and vivo are expected to launch new foldable products in 2023.
"In 2023, competition is set to intensify in the global foldable smartphone market as the number of participating OEMs will increase," said Senior Analyst Jene Park.
According to Park, Apple remains absent from our short-term forecasts, but they're known for taking its time.
"For now, it's just a waiting game on guidance and listening to the rumour mill like the rest of the market," Park added.
Apple may reportedly launch its foldable smartphone 'iPhone Fold' by 2025, which is expected to feature a flexible OLED display.