Major smartphone manufacturers, with the exception of Apple, are increasingly investing in foldable smartphones, but these models still barely exceed 1% of all smartphone sales almost five years after their launch, reports the Financial Times.

Counterpoint Research estimates that only about 16 million foldable devices have been sold this year, representing only 1.3% of the total smartphone market. High prices, concerns about the reliability and utility of foldable smartphones are significant deterrents for consumers. However, in some markets, such as the United States and China, foldable models are beginning to take a more significant share in the premium segment.

According to Canalys, the return rate of foldable models after purchase is 5-10%, which is high for the smartphone category, but manufacturers do not lose hope. The Chinese market, in particular, has demonstrated a greater openness to the introduction of foldable devices: in the third quarter of 2023, sales more than doubled year-on-year.

Samsung currently leads the global foldable smartphone market with a 73% share. Analysts such as Carolina Milanesi of Creative Strategies believe that models with flexible screens are bringing much-needed excitement back to the smartphone sector, representing a beacon of innovation in an otherwise stagnant market. As the industry continues to evolve, foldable smartphones are at a tipping point, potentially transforming from a niche product to a mass-market choice, much like the automotive industry has seen with electric vehicles.