Drop in retail prices pushes growth of foldable phone shipments — IDC

While smartphone shipments continue to decline post-pandemic, the foldable phone segment is gaining traction as International Data Corp. (IDC) expects worldwide shipments of foldable phones, including flip and fold form factors, to reach 21.4 million units in 2023.

IDC’s latest data represent an increase of more than 50% over the 14.2 million units shipped in 2022. An updated forecast from the market intelligence firm projects that foldable phone shipments will reach 48.1 million units in 2027 with a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 27.6% from 2022 to 2027.

“The foldable phone market finished slightly higher than previously forecast as consumers start to embrace the new form factor,” said Anthony Scarsella, research manager, Mobile Phones at IDC. “A 10% decline in ASP helped the market grow 75.5% in 2022, as foldable devices became more affordable in numerous markets. With new vendors and models joining the race this year, we expect the foldable market to be the one bright spot in 2023 with 50.5% growth, while the total smartphone market contracts 1.1%.”

Foldable smartphone shipments to reach 41.4 million in 2026 — IDC
Weak demand slows down global smartphone shipments — IDC

Vast improvements in build, as well as durability, contribute to the segment’s continued growth and popularity among users. IDC also noted advancements in software and hardware across all vendors. IDC said there is an expected drop in ASP (-6.8%) in 2023.

According to IDC, foldable phones remain the one positive talking point in a market that declined more than 11% in 2022. 

“This segment’s recent success and forecast growth highlight a healthy demand for this growing form factor,” IDC said. 

Although average selling prices (ASPs) are dropping slightly, foldables remain in the premium price segments in all regional markets.