Samsung is making foldable phones mainstream — nearly 10 million shipped last year

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3
(Image credit: Laptop Mag/Sean Riley)

Samsung reveals the success of its Galaxy Z Flip and Fold, as smartphone boss TM Roh claims millions are switching to foldable phones — and hints at what's to come at August's Unpacked event.

In a blog post, Roh states that nearly 10 million foldables shipped worldwide last year. "That’s an industry increase of more than 300% from 2020, and I predict this fast-paced growth will continue." That significant rise is likely largely to do with the popularity of the Galaxy Z Flip 3, as the post points out that "70% of Galaxy foldable users turned to the Flip."

Clearly, Samsung has something to prove with the upcoming Galaxy Z Flip 4 and Galaxy Z Fold 4. Display analyst Ross Young stated earlier this year that foldable phone production and shipment will rise by more than 100% in 2022, with Samsung alone aiming to ship over 14 million foldables and Samsung Display, the manufacturer of foldable panels, to ship around 19 million panels. 

It's no surprise that Samsung is dominating the foldable smartphone market, with Young showcasing in a DSCC report that Samsung had an 87% share of the 8 million unit market in 2021 (not quite "almost 10 million"), with Huawei in second place with a 9% share. Roh makes a point about foldable phones becoming mainstream, seeing as DSCC expects 86 million foldable/rollable panels by 2026.

We're big fans of the Galaxy Z Flip 3, even stating that it's the first foldable that you should buy. Not so much for the Galaxy Z Fold 3, seeing as it remains too expensive and bulky to recommend for many buyers despite its brilliant improvements. That's something these five phone experts touched on, saying why foldables weren't catching on back in 2021. 

(Image credit: Laptop Mag/Sean Riley)

However, Roh believes the mainstream moment for foldables is here, and the next-gen Flip and Fold smartphones will prove that.

"Three years ago, Samsung Galaxy foldables could be summed up in a single word: radical. Very quickly, however, it became clear that this groundbreaking, flexible design fit perfectly into modern lifestyles. As a result, what was once a novelty three years ago, is now the preferred choice for millions."

We're sure to see the Galaxy Z Flip 4 and Galaxy Z Fold 4 at Samsung's Unpacked event on August 10. Roh says they will be the "ultimate tool for both productivity and self-expression," but only time will tell what kind of worthy upgrades are set to arrive. Whatever the case, foldable phones are making a big impact in the smartphone market, and Samsung is playing a big part in that. 

Darragh Murphy

Darragh Murphy is fascinated by all things bizarre, which usually leads to assorted coverage varying from washing machines designed for AirPods to the mischievous world of cyberattacks. Whether it's connecting Scar from The Lion King to two-factor authentication or turning his love for gadgets into a fabricated rap battle from 8 Mile, he believes there’s always a quirky spin to be made. With a Master’s degree in Magazine Journalism from The University of Sheffield, along with short stints at Kerrang! and Exposed Magazine, Darragh started his career writing about the tech industry at Time Out Dubai and ShortList Dubai, covering everything from the latest iPhone models and Huawei laptops to massive Esports events in the Middle East. Now, he can be found proudly diving into gaming, gadgets, and letting readers know the joys of docking stations for Laptop Mag.