Gartner predicts 30 million foldable phones will be sold by 2023

huawei mate x

As many as 30-million foldable smartphones could be in the hands of consumers by 2023, making up 5% of the premium smartphone segment, research by Gartner suggests.

The data firm on Monday issued its revised global smartphone shipment foresight, suggesting that sales of traditional mobile devices — phones, ultramobile PCs and notebooks — will remain flat through to 2021.

“For the eighth consecutive year, the PC market is at a standstill,” noted Gartner research director Ranjit Atwal. “PC shipments will total 258-million units in 2019, a 0.6% decline from 2018.”

In total, global device shipments are set to top 2.21-billion in 2019, but won’t budge beyond 2.227-billion in 2020, and 2.19-billion a year later.

However, while consumers resist upgrading their devices or are bored with current offerings, foldable smartphones provide a possible new wave of excitement.

“While Gartner analysts expect foldable phones to potentially re-inject innovation in the smartphone market, they are cautious about their short-term uptake due to trade-offs,” the company remarked.

“Gartner estimates that foldable phones will account for 5% of high-end phones by 2023, amounting to 30-million units.”

The research firm expects foldable smartphones to “remain a niche due to several manufacturing challenges” with manufacturers using these devices as form factor experiments.

This year, the likes of Samsung — with its Galaxy Fold — and Huawei — with its Mate X — are expected to debut foldable smartphones in South Africa.

Feature image: The foldable Huawei Mate X by Andy Walker/Memeburn

Andy Walker
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