Foldable Smartphones Experience Record-Breaking Q3 Sales


Galaxy Z Fold 5 & Z Flip 5 - Samsung foldable smartphones - foldable panel market

Ā The third quarter of 2023 (July to September) marked a significant milestone for the foldable smartphone market, with sales reaching a record high. According to research firm DSCC, this surge was driven by a combination of factors, including Samsung’s launch of the highly anticipated Galaxy Z Fold5 and Z Flip5, as well as increased competition from Chinese brands like Huawei and Honor.

Record-Breaking Growth in the Foldable Smartphone Market Due to Samsung and Chinese Competition

Overall, foldable phone sales jumped a staggering 215% compared to the previous quarter and 16% compared to the same period last year, reaching a total of 7 million units. This exceeded the previous peak of 6.1 million units set just a year ago, showcasing the accelerating growth of this emerging market.

Samsung’s Dominance Challenged:

While Samsung still holds the largest market share in the foldable segment, its position is in danger due to Chinese players. Despite capturing a respectable 72% share, this marks a significant decrease from the 86% dominance achieved in the third quarter of 2022. In its wake, Huawei and Honor emerged as major competitors, capturing 9% and 8% of the market share respectively.

Top-Selling Models:

Samsung’s Galaxy Z Flip5 reigned supreme as the best-selling foldable phone with a 45% market share. Followed by its larger sibling, the Z Fold5, which claimed a 24% share. However, Chinese brands are quickly gaining ground, with Huawei’s Mate X3 and Honor’s Magic V2 capturing 6% each.

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Q4 Forecast:

Looking ahead to the fourth quarter (October to December), DSCC anticipates a 35% decline in foldable phone sales compared to the previous quarter. This is primarily attributed to lower-than-expected shipments from Samsung and delays in the launch of new products. However, despite the decrease, sales will still rise by 47% compared to the same period in 2022.

Shifting Market Dynamics:

The Q4 forecast also reveals a striking shift in market dynamics. Samsung’s brand share is expected to plummet to 42%, significantly lower than the 83% achieved in the fourth quarter of 2022. In contrast, Huawei is predicted to experience a surge, capturing a 21% market share, followed closely by Honor at 19%. This indicates a growing acceptance and preference for foldable phones from Chinese brands.

Top Players and Models:

Huawei’s Mate X5 will become the second best-selling foldable phone in the fourth quarter, capturing a 15% market share and surpassing the Galaxy Z Fold5. The Z Flip5 will remain the top model with a 22% share. Followed by the Honor Magic V2 and the Z Fold5 with 15% and 12% share respectively.

Full-Year 2023 Projections:

For the entire year 2023, foldable phone sales will reach 15.8 million units. Representing a 23% increase compared to 2022. The top five best-selling models for the year should be:

  1. Galaxy Z Flip5
  2. Galaxy Z Fold5
  3. Galaxy Z Flip4
  4. Honor Magic V2
  5. Huawei Mate X5

The record-breaking sales figures in the third quarter and the positive projections for the full year paint a promising picture for the future of foldable smartphones. Increased competition, diverse product offerings, and technological advancements are likely to drive further growth in this exciting segment. With established players like Samsung facing strong challenges from Chinese brands, the foldable smartphone market is poised for significant innovation and disruption in the years to come.

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