Samsung says it sold almost 10 million foldable smartphones in 2021, meaning this new form factor is here to stay.
Having hit the 10 million foldable phone milestone, Samsung said it was “a massive moment for foldable smartphones” for a category that the company said was considered “radical” three years ago.
“The Samsung Galaxy Fold and Flip are the most famous foldable phones. Nearly 10 million foldable smartphones were shipped worldwide last year,” said T. M. Roh, president and head of Samsung MX (Mobile eXperience Business) in a blog post.
Flip, a popular choice
“This is an industry growth of over 300% compared to 2020 and I predict this rapid growth will continue. We are approaching a point where these foldable devices are becoming more common and gaining ground in the global smartphone market,” he continues.
Presumably this figure will include foldable devices like the Oppo Find N and Honor Magic V and possibly the Motorola Razr, as well as the Flip and Fold, each with its own take on the folding concept.
Samsung said foldable devices were a common sight ahead of the Unpacked event on August 10, where foldable devices were reported to take center stage.
According to Samsung, 70% of Galaxy foldable buyers have chosen the Flip, a cheaper but still expensive 2020 model that follows Samsung’s first foldable device, the Fold, and its fragile display. In 2021, the Galaxy X Flip 3 has become a more realistic option.
A drop in the sea
According to Samsung, the remaining 30% bought the Galaxy Fold. TM Roh called the Fold a “maximum performance device” due to its large-screen multitasking, while Flip customers liked its Flex mode for easier selfies.
“Three years ago, Galaxy foldables could be summed up in one word: radical. However, it quickly became apparent that this revolutionary and flexible design fits perfectly into modern lifestyles. Therefore, what was a novelty three years ago is now the preferred choice of millions of people,” said TM Roh.
Samsung released the Fold at an interesting time in its smartphone history. In 2018, its Galaxy S line didn’t sell as well as in the past. That same year, Samsung announced that it would be incorporating more new technology into its mid-range Galaxy A phones, and not just its high-end Galaxy S phones. This can be seen on last year’s Galaxy A-series phones that were popular in Europe.
While the 10 million foldable phones sold in a year is a milestone, it’s still a drop in the bucket compared to the 1.39 billion smartphones sold last year. This represents 0.7% of all smartphones shipped in 2021 and will be a tiny fraction of Samsung’s total share of 20% of smartphone shipments.