Canalys again looked into the channel’s crystal ball and provide that foldable smartphone shipments will exceed 30 million by 2024.
To put that number into context, the analyst confirmed last month that 363 million smartphones shipped in Q4 2021, up just 1% year-on-year, but for all of 2021 sales were up. by 7% to reach 1.37 billion.
Foldables fetch relatively high prices and with consumers (especially Android fans) wondering why they should drop large sums on a smartphone, sellers sought out The Next Big Thing to tempt early adopters and industry buyers. premium.
One targeted device category is foldables, which were initially seen as a technical curiosity at a ridiculous price.
“The main catalyst for foldable smartphones has been the booming use of large-screen devices during the pandemic,” said Runar Bjørhovde, research analyst at Canalys. Driven largely by Samsung, foldable smartphone shipments reached 8.9 million in 2021, an increase of 148%.
The foldable form didn’t get off to the most auspicious start, with Samsung’s top-tier review model being singled out by critics. Samsung lowered prices last year in a bid to give the latest device wider appeal.
According to Canalys, Android handset makers are under immense pricing pressure: Sales of Android phones in the $800+ bracket fell 18% between the end of 2021 and the end of 2019, while shipments of ‘iOS grew by 68% during this period.
Amber Liu, Research Analyst at Canalys, said: “The real battleground for device vendors is software user experience, which requires substantial investment in user interface and high-performance software, as the ecosystem of foldable apps is still far from optimal.
“We anticipate this year will see many new foldable device launches as vendors continue to reduce thickness, weight and price, which will be vital for mass market adoption.”
There is indeed a long way to go. We had a play with Samsung’s latest foldable phone at a recent event hosted by the vendor, and while the tech is undoubtedly nifty, we’re not sure it’s been elevated above status. of neat gadget.
A few more years of trust to prove screens won’t crease or crack, a few Android updates to add foldable functionality, and the inevitable price drop and 30 million slots just might be achievable. Unless Apple “invents” a foldable of its own. ®