Wednesday, June 12, 2024

World’s top folding phone maker revealed, and it’s not Samsung

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A person folding up the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5.Andy Boxall / Digital Trends

Data from analysts at Counterpoint Research has revealed Samsung has lost its crown as the world’s top foldable smartphone brand by the number of shipments. In the space of a year Samsung has slipped from having a 58% share of shipments to 23%, and it’s Huawei that has taken the top spot, overtaking it as the new leader with a 35% share of the folding phone market.

Losing the top spot is bad enough, but according to the data Samsung is the only brand not to have shown any growth in foldable phone shipments over the past 12 months. While Huawei is now the top manufacturer by number of shipments, even it did not register the largest growth according to Counterpoint Research’s data. Instead, Motorola’s shipments grew by a massive 1,473% to take 11% of the market, and the company notes the Razr 2023 is its top model in North America.

Counterpoint Research

Honor, once a subsidiary of Huawei but now its own brand, has risen to 12% market share from only 3% a year before, helped by the release of the slim Honor Magic V2. Although OnePlus launched the OnePlus Open, Google shipped the Pixel Fold, and others like Tecno, Vivo, and Xiaomi have released foldables over the past year, all have been relegated to the “Others” section of the research, demonstrating the fierce competition in foldables at the moment.

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Another interesting shift has taken place in the market according to the data gathered by Counterpoint Research, as for the first time since 2021, shipments of big-screen foldable smartphones have passed clamshell foldables like the Galaxy Z Flip 5 and the Razr Plus. During the first quarter of 2024, 55% of the folding phones shipped were devices like the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5, the Honor Magic V2, and the Huawei Mate X5.

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The timing of this data and Samsung’s fall from the top spot is also important. In July, it’s expected Samsung will announce the Galaxy Z Fold 6 and Galaxy Z Flip 6, replacing the current Z Fold 5 and Z Flip 5, which are almost a year old. What’s more, Motorola is expected to announce new versions of its Razr folding phones in the near future. While Huawei and Honor have seen considerable growth over the last year, Samsung and Motorola are set to influence folding smartphones for the second half of 2024.

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