Strategy Analytics: Foldable Display Smartphones: Premium Smartphones For a Niche Customer Base

Strategy Analytics in a newly published report from the Device Technologies (EDT) service, Global Display Technologies Forecast: 2008-2024 estimates that despite all the hype around foldable display smartphones, mainstream adoption is still far off. “Foldable display devices will create their own category inside smartphones much like the first Note established Phablets,” comments Ken Hyers, Director at Strategy Analytics.

“Foldable display smartphones will be an ultra-premium category with a limited customer base that can afford the pricy new devices. Foldable display smartphones will initially primarily target business users. For that customer segment the price might not be as much of an issue, but for mass adoption the prices must come down,” comments Ville-Petteri Ukonaho, Associate Director at Strategy Analytics.

The report estimates that less than 0.1% of smartphones will have foldable displays this year and share will grow to more than 3% by 2024. “Durability is a main concern for potential foldable display smartphone buyers,” says Strategy Analytics’ Ken Hyers. “Vendors must work hard and spend serious marketing money to convince consumers that the devices are durable for everyday usage.”

The leaders in this evolution are Samsung and Huawei. Both have already revealed their foldable display smartphones, but have faced serious quality and durability questions with them, particularly as relates to the display. “Delays are inevitable with such big design changes but we expect Samsung and Huawei to resolve those issues and devices,” comments Ville-Petteri Ukonaho. “All major smartphone vendors including Apple, Xiaomi and others that are developing or evaluating the market opportunity created by foldable display smartphones and will launch own devices in the future.”

Despite a sluggish start the new category is emerging. “Foldable displays will inevitably change the way we use our smartphones,” states Ken Hyers. “Foldable devices are the future, but mass adoption still awaits,” adds Ville-Petteri Ukonaho.

The report Global Display Technologies Forecast: 2008-2024 is available to Strategy Analytics clients of our Emerging Devices Technologies research service.

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