IDC predicts that 41.5 million folding screen mobile phones will be shipped in 2026

Research firm IDC predicts that by 2026, shipments of folding screen mobile phones will more than quadruple from 8.1 million in 2021 to 41.5 million. Falling prices and commercial use cases will drive adoption of these devices, which, thanks to their size, begin to replace regular phones and tablets, the report said. From 2022 to 2026, IDC expects the compound annual growth rate of folding screen devices to reach 38.7%.

According to an IDC analysis,

The recently launched Galaxy Z Flip 4 and Fold 4 will once again lead the category as Samsung continues to be the standard for foldable devices on the market. Samsung’s new offering brings incremental but critical improvements over its predecessors. The success of these devices will be a strong indicator of how folding screen devices will develop and capture consumers in the future. While price remains a pain point for consumers, given that most consumer goods will increase in price due to inflation in 2022, the starting price of $999 may be acceptable to consumers.

While folding screen devices will become more popular in the next few years, IDC does not expect them to become mainstream during this time. IDC data on folding screen devices and other smartphones show that even in 2026, folding screen devices will only account for 2.8% of device shipments that year.

These reports will mean that the folding screen category remains a niche high-end segment. However, whether manufacturers can reduce prices to more affordable levels for consumers will be a key direction going forward.

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