This year will mark a major turning point for Samsung Electronics’ smartphone business, with a goal to push up the portion of foldable phones to more than 20 per cent of Galaxy flagship sales worldwide, its mobile chief has said.
“This year will serve as a tipping point for Samsung to make foldable phones a mainstream product,” Roh Tae-moon, president and head of Samsung Electronics’ mobile business, said at a press briefing in Seoul, reports Yonhap news agency.
In the next few years, sales of foldable phones could “hit 100 million units a year worldwide,” he added, citing various reports by industry research firms.
Since Samsung first introduced the new form factor in 2019, more companies have joined the high-end segment, including Google and Motorola, and the manufacturing ecosystem has expanded, which he said demonstrated the possibility of foldables becoming a mainstream product.
Samsung held Galaxy Unpacked, its biannual global product launch event earlier this week, in Seoul for the first time in its home country, to unveil its fifth edition of foldable smartphones, the Galaxy Z Flip 5 and Fold 5, among others.
The Galaxy Z Fold 5 became slimmer and lighter, with a new hinge system, and the Galaxy Z Flip 5 came with a full-cover screen that allows users to do more without flipping open the phone.
By 2025, Samsung seeks to raise the portion of foldable phones to half of its total smartphone sales, making them another pillar of the company, alongside the Galaxy S flagship series, and a key category in the premium segment.
According to market researcher Canalys, Samsung accounted for approximately 77 percent of foldable phone shipments worldwide last year.
Foldable phone shipments are expected to reach 21.4 million units this year, up more than 50 percent from a year ago, as consumers start to embrace the new form factor, the International Data Corp. said. By 2027, the figure could reach 48.1 million, it estimated, driven by “a healthy demand for this growing form factor.”
Roh said Samsung’s priority lies in turning foldable phones into mass-market products. When and if the company achieves the goal, profits will naturally follow, he added.
To reach a far wider audience, he said his company has been cooperating with global partners to reduce the cost of manufacturing foldable phones.
“We are working under challenging business conditions, but we have vast experience and know-how of working through such difficulties to create innovative products,” Roh said. “We will try to ride out difficulties in the second half.”
Samsung has sold nearly 10 million foldable phones since it launched the previous models last summer, he said. He expected the latest Fold and Flip series to help the firm consolidate its leading position in the market, without giving a specific sales target for the new models.