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Samsung leads the foldable smartphone market with record-breaking third quarter performance

According to TrendForce, foldable smartphones have a penetration rate of 1.6% this year, which is a long way off from the 85%-90% penetration rate of the general smartphone industry. Despite this, the foldable market had a record third quarter, with shipments increasing 215% from the second quarter and 16% year-over-year to reach 7 million units. Samsung’s release of the Galaxy Z Fold 5 and the Galaxy Z Flip 5 led to its domination of the market, owning 72% of the global foldable market last quarter, according to Display Supply Chain Consultants (DSCC). This is a decrease from the 86% slice it had during the same quarter last year. Competitors released more models and produced higher volumes, with Huawei’s market share at 9% and Honor’s at 8% of the Q3 foldable market.

The top two selling foldable phones during the third quarter were the Galaxy Z Flip 5 and the Galaxy Z Fold 5, responsible for 45% and 24% of Q3 foldable shipments respectively. DSCC expects shipments during the holiday quarter to rise 47% year-over-year to 3.6 million but compared to the record third quarter, on a sequential basis, Q4 deliveries of foldables are expected to decline 35%. DSCC forecasts Samsung’s foldable shipments to decline during the three months and expects its market share to decline to 42% during the period.

Huawei is expected to take an impressive 21% share of the foldable market in Q4 with Honor at 19%. The Galaxy Z Flip 5 should still lead the way with a 22% market share, while Samsung’s Galaxy Z Fold 5 is expected to finish fourth with 12% of the global foldable market during the fourth quarter. The CEO of DSCC, Ross Young, summarized the foldable market for 2023 by saying that it has been a mixed year for foldables, but improvements have been made in device thickness, weight, and reductions in seam visibility. Some analysts believe that the foldable market will remain a small segment of the smartphone industry until Apple enters the foldable market with its own offering.

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