Nearly 10 million foldable phones shipped in 2021

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Foldable phones have been around for a while, and while they’re still considered a niche, Samsung claims that nearly 10 million foldables have been shipped by 2021 – a market that has been growing every year. In the meantime, Apple is yet to join the foldable phone team.

As reported by The Verge, president of Samsung’s mobile division TM Roh has published a letter about the “mainstream moment” of foldable phones. In this letter, Roh says that nearly 10 million foldable smartphones were shipped worldwide by 2021. That means that the foldable industry grew 300% from 2020

According to the Samsung executive, the company believes that foldable devices will play a more important role each year in the overall smartphone market.

Last year, we saw almost 10 million foldable smartphones shipped worldwide. That’s an industry increase of more than 300% from 2020, and I predict this fast-paced growth will continue. We are reaching the moment where these foldable devices are becoming widespread and staking a bigger claim in the overall smartphone market.

The Verge notes that these numbers are a bit different from the latest data reported by industry analysts like IDC and Ross Young, as both claim that number is between 7.1 and 7.9 million units of foldable devices shipped last year. Of course, the smartphone market is much bigger than that – Samsung alone shipped 272 million smartphones last year.

Still, there’s no doubt that more people are getting interested in buying a foldable phone, and Samsung is leading the way in that race. 70% of the foldable device market is represented by the Galaxy Fold and Galaxy Flip, both from Samsung.

When will Apple enter this dispute?

Nearly 10 million foldable phones were shipped in 2021 while Apple is yet to enter this market.

While several companies have been experimenting with foldable phones, Apple doesn’t seem too interested in this market – at least not in the short term. Rumors suggest that the Cupertino-based company is internally developing prototypes of foldable iPhones and iPads, but those devices are far from seeing the light of day.

Earlier this year, analysts Ming-Chi Kuo and Ross Young reported that Apple’s first foldable product is expected to be introduced in 2025 “at the earliest.” Details about these devices remain unclear at this point.

This comes as no surprise since Apple has been following a more conservative approach in recent years. Due to the large number of devices the company ships each year, Apple would likely face several supply issues with the launch of a foldable phone at this point, since this technology is still limited and more expensive.

More than that, some believe that foldable phones aren’t ready for regular users yet since they still have some experimental aspects like the visible crease in the display, not to mention the more fragile material.

Personally, I’ve had the opportunity to use a Galaxy Z Flip 3 and it is an amazing device. Samsung has been doing a great job with its foldable phones, and these devices open up a lot of new possibilities. But in some ways, they still look more like prototypes than something ready for everyday use.

In the meantime, Samsung is about to announce the next generation of its foldable phones, and rumors suggest that they’ll have larger batteries and a less visible crease thanks to a new hinge system. You can find more news about Samsung’s latest products at 9to5Google.

Would you like to have a foldable iPhone? Let us know in the comments below.

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