Danish Kapoor
Danish Kapoor

Folding sales soar in China. The main culprit is a big surprise

The Chinese market is beginning to show certain trends in the territory of folding mobile phones. Despite having a marginal presence, the growth of this segment has exceeded 90% year-on-year in the third quarter of 2023, with 1.96 million units sold (compared to almost 300 million units sold in Q3).

The most curious fact: the leadership of the Honor/Huawei group and that Samsung, the undisputed leader in Spain, is barely content with third place behind other giants such as OPPO.

Huawei fever in China: Honor and Huawei are going through one of their best moments in China, the complete antithesis to their situation in Europe. The manufacturer that sold the most foldables so far this year was Huawei, with a 31.7% market share within the foldable segment.

Along with this good news for Huawei, we also know that its sister Honor now occupies the crown in sales within Chinese territory. The overall market share is 19.3%, ahead of OPPO, Apple and Xiaomi.

China Foldable Phone Market Three Quarter 2023 1

OPPO is going strong. The second major manufacturer in China, if we talk about foldables, is OPPO. The Chinese giant reaches 17.1% market share in folding products, mainly due to sales of its OPPO Find N3 Flip. It manages to position itself above Samsung, and the plan to conquer Europe with its foldables is already underway.

Recently the BBK group launched the OnePlus Open as a global alternative to the OPPO Find N3. A device that wants to compete head-on with the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold5 and that, both in technical sheet and as a whole, is the best foldable of the moment.

Samsung, far from winning in China. Although Europe is one of the strongest positions for Samsung, in China the data is not so spectacular. This does not mean they are negative, since the South Korean manufacturer occupies third place with a 15.4% folding market share. Honor follows very closely, with 15.1%.

Honor’s position in the Chinese folding market is curious, since it is quite close to Samsung despite competing without any Flip on the market. Their proposal is the Magic V2, a direct rival to the Fold.

A trend as different as it is similar in Spain. Spain is far from leadership at the hands of Huawei, but the trend with folding sales is similar. According to DSCC data, folding sales grew by 42% in a context of global market decline. These data must be taken with caution, since the growth in folding, given the low figures from which it is based, is quite unusual.

The future of the smartphone is foldable ones.  They only have two problems to overcome

We are still some distance away from a foldable market with prices adapted to markets such as Europe, doubling the average sales price of smartphones in the territory.

Image | Huawei

Danish Kapoor