Huawei Dominates Foldable Market, Leaving Samsung in the Dust


Huawei is one of the top smartphone manufacturers. However, the company has faced many issues in the global market due to US sanctions. The past few years have been difficult, but Huawei made a comeback with its HarmonyOS and competitive products. Recent reports suggest Huawei has overtaken Samsung to become the leading foldable smartphone manufacturer globally. This is surely big news for Huawei as even under sanctions, the brand made its space.

Huawei Surpasses Samsung

Research firm Counterpoint has shared the global foldable smartphone shipments with Q1 2023 vs Q1 2024 comparison. The list reveals four top foldable phone makers in the market. The list includes Huawei, Samsung, Honor, and Motorola. All the brands saw good growth except Samsung. Counterpoint’s report on foldable smartphone shipments shows Huawei’s foldable smartphone shipments saw a remarkable year-on-year growth of 257% in the first quarter of 2024. Meanwhile, Samsung’s market share dropped significantly. It came down from 58% (in Q1 2023) to 23% (in Q1 2024). Meanwhile, Ā Honor and Motorola also grew their shipments by 460% and 1,473% respectively. Counterpoint’s detailed report on foldable smartphone shipments can be accessed here.

Huawei Nails the Basics: A Comparative Analysis with Samsung

The current market share reveals that Samsung is no longer the top foldable smartphone maker, and Huawei has been given the spot. The top devices from Huawei in the foldable market include Mate X5 and Pocket 2. The Mate X5, Huawei’s main foldable phone, also won the ā€œBest of the MWC 2024ā€ award. The phone got the award thanks to its impressive design and features. For example, the foldable offers better durability thanks to Kunlun Glass. Huawei claims that this Kunlun Glass increases scratch resistance by 300% and drop resistance by 100%. This is a major highlight since foldable devices need much more durability to gain the trust of customers.

If we compare the Galaxy Z Fold5 to the Mate X5,Ā  Huawei focuses on the basics. For example, the Mate X5 has a decent 5060mAh battery while the Galaxy Z Fold5 is limited to a smaller 4400mAh capacity. Moreover, the Z Fold5 is not as portable as the Mate X5. The Samsung’s offering is 13.4 mm (when folded) and weighs 253g. Meanwhile, Huawei comes with a thickness of 11.1 mm (when folded) and weighs 243g. Hence, these small factors play a major role in consumer’s decisions toward a product.

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One more element of Huawei’s success is that the company focused on 5G smartphones. 84% of the shipments in this quarter were from 5G-enabled phones. Whereas in the same quarter last year, there were none of their foldable smartphones had 5G capabilities. This shows that Huawei listened to the market needs, and focused on it.

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Huawei taking the crown has significant market implications. Technological innovation would accelerate as Samsung responds with more advanced products. Meanwhile, Huawei strives to maintain its leading position. This competition will expand consumer choices, driving both companies to continually improve their offerings and potentially make foldable smartphones more accessible to a wider audience. Another implication is Huawei’s acceptance in the global market. Currently, the brand is generating the highest sales from China. Additionally, Huawei’s success might push other competitors like Apple to expedite their foldable phone development, further enriching the market landscape.

Foldable Market Trend

Apart from Huawei and Samsung, let’s have a quick overview of other companies. As the report suggests, there are multiple smartphone companies in foldable segment. With this, the consumers get a wide range of options in the foldable market. For example, users have options like the Moto Razr Ultra offering a glorious design and catchy red color. While, there are also unique options such as Honor V Purse, which has an outward folding mechanic. This makes the foldable market more competitive.

How Samsung might be planning a comeback in the foldable market?

Samsung has not been innovating heavily with its Fold lineup. For example, the Z Fold 5 and Z Fold 4 are close in features and even design. Meanwhile, Huawei continues to experiment with different designs, etc. However, this may change as the rumor mill has suggested multiple foldable devices from Samsung this year. The rumors suggest that Samsung may explore a new Galaxy Z Fold 6 Ultra, as there are multiple hints such as the battery certifications. Earlier, there were also reports of a cheaper version of the foldable.

Huawei is not the only competitor of Samsung, there is Apple as well. Tech giant Apple has not yet entered the foldable market, but with their experience, they can produce a top-notch foldable. Hence, Samsung should be prepared for current and future competition. As a tech enthusiast, I am happy to see the competition in the foldable market. With this high competition, we will see more companies innovate and bring value to consumers. Until then, let us know your opinions on the current foldable market in the comments below.

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