The latest report from DSCC (Display Supply Chain Consultants) brings some bad news for foldable smartphones. According to the report, the foldable smartphone market recorded its first year-on-year (YoY) decline in Q4 2022. In terms of numbers, the shipment of foldable smartphones dropped 48% in Q4 2022 compared to Q3 2022 and 26% compared to Q4 2021.
Reportedly, 3.1 million foldable smartphones were shipped from the start of October 2022 to the end of December 2022. Although Q4 2022 saw a decline in shipments, the overall 2022 shipments number rose 62% to 12.9 million units. Samsung, as usual, remained the king in the foldable smartphone market with a market share of 83%. This number is down when compared to Q3’s 86% and Q4 2021’s 96%.
Samsung’s share declined as the foldable market saw new entrants from OPPO and Huawei
The reason behind Samsung’s quarter-to-quarter market share decline can be blamed on the sharp 50% drop in foldable shipment volume in Q4 202 after the launch of the Galaxy Z Fold 4 and the Galaxy Z Flip 4 during Q3 2022. Also, the Q4 release of the Apple iPhone 14 series stole the spotlight from the Samsung foldable, resulting in a decline in market share for the South Korean giant.
The Galaxy Z Flip 4 was the top foldable in Q4 2022, grabbing 47% of the global smartphone pie. During the same quarter the previous year, it was the Galaxy Z Flip 3. So, what we can conclude from the trend is that people prefer the clamshell design more or they prefer not to spend over $1,000 on a foldable phone. Trailing behind Samsung’s top spot was Huawei in second place, followed by OPPO. This soft trend is expected to continue in the current quarter, resulting in a 3% year-on-year drop in handset sales globally.
Samsung was the top foldable display supplier with 81% of foldable displays used in Q4 2022. This is down from 91% in Q3 2022. Chinese supplier BOE’s share increased from 4% in Q3 to 17% in Q4 2022.