Samsung last year launched the world's first globally available foldable smartphone – the Galaxy Fold. Since then, the Korean behemoth has been the undisputed leader in this market. And, unsurprisingly, the company is the number one foldable smartphone brand worldwide in 2020 as well.
According to a new report from Counterpoint Research, Samsung accounted for nearly 73-percent of the total foldable smartphone shipments this year. The market research firm estimates that about 2.8 million foldable smartphones were shipped in 2020, of which 2.04 million were Galaxy-branded devices.
Samsung launched three foldable smartphones this year: Galaxy Z Flip, Galaxy Z Flip 5G, and the Galaxy Z Fold 2. Motorola and Huawei are the only other two brands with a commercially available foldable smartphone under their belt.
The Motorola Razr competes directly against the Galaxy Z Flip phones in the clamshell folding segment. However, this nostalgic Moto phone hasn't been able to win potential buyers' hearts as much as Samsung's version did. Competitive pricing paired with superior hardware made the Galaxy Z Flip lot more popular among consumers.
The Galaxy Z Fold 2, on the other hand, is a more refined version of Samsung's vision with big screen foldable smartphones. This device already feels like a significant upgrade over its predecessor – the original Galaxy Fold.
It doesn't have a real competitor in the market. Huawei's Mate X series has had a limited release outside of China, mostly because of the US ban. Motorola, meanwhile, doesn't have a product that can give competition to the Galaxy Z Fold 2.
Samsung to continue leading the foldable smartphone market
Counterpoint Research predicts Samsung to continue to maintain its leadership position in the foldable smartphone market for the foreseeable future. According to the report, the foldable market will grow to 17 million devices by 2022.
While a few more OEMs may enter the market by then, Samsung already has a big head start and its position will likely remain unchallenged, at least for the next few years. The Korean giant is reportedly preparing to launch four foldable smartphones in 2021.
Interestingly, foldable smartphones aren't as much popular yet in the US as in some other regions. European markets accounted for around 29-percent of global shipments this year. Foldable smartphones are also very popular in Samsung's home country South Korea, accounting for 26-percent of the shipments.
China accounted for around 25-percent of global foldable smartphone shipments in 2020, while around 9-percent of shipments were made in the Middle East and Africa (MEA) region. Other markets including the US and India accounted for 12-percent of the global shipments.