Huawei Dethrones Samsung as Global Leader in Foldable Smartphones

Huawei Foldable Smartphones

In the first quarter of 2024, Huawei has emerged as the dominant player in the global foldable smartphone market, surpassing long-time leader Samsung. This marks a significant milestone for the Chinese tech titan, which has been grappling with US sanctions.

Data from research firm Counterpoint reveals a remarkable 257% year-on-year surge in Huawei’s foldable smartphone shipments during the first three months of the year. This impressive growth starkly contrasts with Samsung’s dwindling market share, which plummeted from 58% in Q1 2023 to a mere 23% in Q1 2024, despite a 49% increase in total global foldable smartphone shipments.

Huawei’s success in the foldable market can be largely attributed to its emphasis on 5G models. In the March quarter, a substantial 84% of Huawei’s foldable shipments were 5G-enabled, a significant leap from the previous year. The company’s best-selling foldable models were the Mate X5 (booklet-style) and Pocket 2 (clamshell-style), with the majority of sales originating from China, despite their availability in other regions such as the Middle East.

Samsung’s sluggish pace in innovating its foldable lineup is believed to have contributed to its declining market position.

Motorola has also made a noteworthy entrance in this segment, boasting a staggering growth of over 1473% compared to Q1 2023. This has propelled the company to the fourth position, commanding an 11% market share. The Razr 40 (aka Razr 2023) has become the most sought-after model in North America, as per the research firm.

Honor, with a slightly higher market share of 12%, is currently in the third position. The Honor Magic V2 was the most shipped foldable phone in Western Europe in Q1 2024.

In Q1 2024, “book-type” foldables constituted 55% of global shipments, outperforming clamshell-type foldables for the first time since 2021.

Samsung is gearing up for the launch of the Galaxy Z Fold 6 and Flip 6, and it remains to be seen if the company can regain its lost ground in the market.

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