Samsung, Apple, and Motorola Top US Consumers’ Wish Lists for Foldables

Foldable smartphones have started to make their mark, with 28% of US users expressing interest in purchasing one as their next device. Samsung is the leading brand in this space, with strong brand loyalty among its users, while Apple and Motorola are also part of the competition.

Source: Counterpoint

The Counterpoint Research survey says, Samsung has emerged as the leading brand in the foldable smartphone space, with 46% of respondents preferring it for their foldable purchase. Apple follows Samsung with a preference of 39% among the respondents. Motorola trails with only a 6% preference.

With Samsung leading the way in early stage developments of foldables, it may come as no surprise that Samsung’s brand loyalty is strong among its foldables users, with 92% of them planning to stick with the company for their next foldable.

When it comes to form factors, the flip-type foldable emerged as the top choice among 49% of respondents, with the book-type foldable coming in second. With more males preferring the flip-type foldable, and more females preferring the latter. Respondents in higher income brackets, particularly those with a monthly income of $10,000 and above, were more inclined to purchase foldable smartphones, which may also be attributed to the higher cost of foldables over traditional form factors.

If you wanted to take this further, you might find a good reason for why Apple may not get into foldables any time soon. If the company had one today, and all other things being equal, the market share and volumes would look like the table below.

US Only2022 Market Share2022 Shipments (Thousands)2026 Shipments (Thousands)
Assuming a 30% CAGR, and based on existing numbers, the fantasy numbers for flodables this year would be as shown here. (Source: Display Daily, for amusement purposes only)

If you now give a range from 15-45% CAGR, you might get what follows:

US Only2026 Shipments (15% CAGR, Thousands)2026 Shipments (45% CAGR, Thousands)
Source: Display Daily (for amusement purposes only)

I think it is safe to assume that unless there is sufficient traction in 2023, and growth rates for foldables break through at least 38-42% projected CAGR, a foldable iPhone is probably years away from getting on the roadmap. But that could turn out to be an opportunity for other smartphone makers to jump in and captures the public’s imagination. Foldables could viral, as they say, once people are one hundred percent comfortable with bending their screens. There’s also a lot to be said for a foldable flip top, the best of both worlds, a compact form factor in your pocket, and no loss of screen area.