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IDC: Foldable smartphone sales to reach 4m in 2021

Paul Lipscombe
July 15, 2021

Shipments will hit 13.9m units by 2025 with the market remaining niche

The foldable phone market will reach four million shipments by the end of the year according to IDC.

IDC revealed the figure as part of its first five-year forecast of foldable phone shipments worldwide.

The niche market will jump over 106.6pc from the 1.9 million units that were shipped last year, with IDC predicting the number to reach 13.9m by 2025.

“The overall adoption of foldable devices continues to grow slowly despite the initial setback we witnessed with the first batch of foldables unveiled back in 2019,” said IDC research manager Anthony Scarsella.


Shipments of foldable phones are expected to pick up as design, durability and functionality improve, adds Scarsella.

“Foldable models continue to improve in terms of design, durability, and functionality. Although high ASPs will be a deterrent in the near term, the gradual decline in prices as more models come to market will be a key driver of growth for the entire category.”

So far a number of vendors have ventured into the foldable smartphone category, most notably Samsung, Huawei and Motorola.

Apple has yet to showcase any innovation in this segment of the market, but the vendor could raise awareness of these smartphones should it bring out a foldable phone.

“Moreover, if Apple does join the foldable game, which we have currently not included in our forecast, it will undoubtedly bring increased excitement and mass awareness to the category in a way that only Apple can.”

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