Samsung Electronics, the world's largest smartphone vendor, was the dominant player in the global foldable smartphone market last year, a report showed, with its leading status expected to continue through 2021.
For the whole of 2020, Samsung logged an 87% share on a unit basis in the global foldable smartphone market that was estimated at 2.2 million units, according to market tracker Display Supply Chain Consultants (DSCC).
"The Z Flip was the No. 1 model with nearly a 50% share followed by the Z Fold2," DSCC said. "Korea was the leading region for foldable smartphone shipments in 2020 due to the success of the Z Flip and Z Flip 5G in that region as Korea accounted for more than 50% share of demand for Samsung's clamshell models in 2020."
For this year, DSCC predicted that Samsung will continue its dominance in the foldable smartphone sector, with an 81% share in units and a 76% share in revenue.
It estimated the global market for foldable-rollable smartphones to reach 5.1 million units in 2021, up 128% from a year earlier, with revenue soaring 137% on-year to $8.6 billion, reports Yonhap news agency.
In particular, the global foldable smartphone market is expected to grow significantly starting in the second half of the year, according to DSCC, claiming that Samsung has delayed the launch of its foldable smartphones until the third quarter of 2021.
"At least three models are expected, and Samsung is positioning their Z Fold foldable line-up as their second flagship series, replacing the Note series," DSCC said. "In addition, they are expected to introduce a more aggressively priced version of their clamshell foldable."
DSCC said there is likely to be big growth in book-type foldable devices, such as Samsung's Z Fold 2, as they are expected to account for 49% of foldable smartphone revenues this year, up from 39% in 2020, as more smartphone brands selected such a form factor.
"In fact, we expect to see at least 12 different foldable and rollable smartphones on the market from at least eight brands and shipments of more than three million units in the fourth quarter of 2021," it said.
Meanwhile, when it comes to foldable smartphone displays, DSCC said Samsung Display Co., an affiliate of Samsung Electronics, will continue to dominate the sector with a market share of 87% in 2021, up from 83.5% in 2020, on a unit basis.
"Samsung Display will begin selling foldable displays with Ultra-thin Glass (UTG) to other brands from the second half of 2021, leading to a number of new products," it said.