Foldable phones have been on the market for a few years now, and according to a press release by International Data Corporation (IDC), they are gaining popularity at an impressive rate. IDC has projected that worldwide shipments of foldable phones, including flip and fold form factors, will reach 21.4 million units in 2023, an increase of more than 50% over the 14.2 million units shipped in 2022. By 2027, IDC expects worldwide shipments to reach 48.1 million units with a market value of $42 billion, representing a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 27.6% from 2022 to 2027.
Foldable phones are a bright spot in a market that declined by over 11% in 2022. This segment’s recent success and forecast growth highlight a healthy demand for this growing form factor. Although average selling prices (ASPs) are dropping slightly, foldables remain in the premium price segments in all regional markets. Despite the expected drop in ASP (-6.8% in 2023), IDC has witnessed vast improvements in durability and build while the overall user experience has been elevated with advancements in software and hardware across all vendors.
According to Anthony Scarsella, research manager, Mobile Phones at IDC, “The foldable phone market finished slightly higher than previously forecast as consumers start to embrace the new form factor. 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%.”
Nabila Popal, research director with IDC’s Worldwide Tracker team, noted that foldable phones were a key focal point at Mobile World Congress this year as vendors were eager to show off new models and concept devices. With the smartphone market declining over 11% last year, consumers need new motivation to go out and upgrade to something that can wow them. Foldable devices currently bring that ‘wow factor’ and will continue to grab more headlines and outperform non-foldable smartphones over the next five years.
The IDC report, Worldwide Foldable Phone Forecast, 2023–2027, provides an overview and five-year forecast of the worldwide foldable phone market and its expansion and growth by 2027. This study also looks at future demand for the category, along with key players and the impact they will have on other vendors, carriers, consumers, and business users. The forecast leverages data from the Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker, which provides accurate, market-level data on mobile phones and smartphones from 70+ vendors.