Report says foldable smartphone shipments will reach 101.5 million in 2027

I’m still dubious that Apple will release a foldable iPhone. However, a new report from Counterpoint Research says that global foldable smartphone shipments are projected to reach 101.5 million in 2027 from 78.6 million in 2026. 

What’s more the research group says that Samsung and Apple are expected to dominate the market at that time. Regional drivers, especially in China, combined with growing consumer willingness to buy foldables will help keep shipment growth buoyant, according to Counterpoint.

“At the moment, foldables remain niche,” says Research Director Tom Kong. “But it is an important segment for brands looking to maintain leadership in innovation and a premium market presence.”

Senior Analyst Jene Park adds: “In the long term, we are waiting to see what Apple does. We are looking at 2025 as the possible year of iPhone’s foldable debut, which could provide another growth spurt for the segment.”

However, as I’ve said repeatedly I think we’ll see a curved iPhone before a foldable one. Why?

As noted by the Make Use Of website, since the screen on a foldable phone folds and unfolds several times a day, it wrinkles down the middle and leaves a noticeable crease. This can prove to be interrupting in daily use as you slide your finger across the screen.

Also, as the article notes, dust is a big problem for foldable phones because they have a lot of moving parts. If any small dust particle enters the phone body via any one of its openings, it can cause problems and potentially kill the device. 

Finally, Make Use Of notes that making a foldable phone means sacrificing a lot of internal real estate to house all the moving parts. The hinge itself takes up a lot of space. 

“Due to this, foldable phones often have mediocre battery life—at least not as good as what they could have if the moving parts didn’t take up so much space,” notes Make Use Of.

As for an “iPhone Curve,” Apple has filed for various patents that hint at a curved iPhone with a wraparound display. For example, patent filing 202200111822 is for an “electronic device with wrap around display.” It’s designed to expand “the functionality of portable electronics devices by providing a more efficient mechanism for presenting visual content is disclosed. 

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