Ten millions of units. This is the number of foldable smartphones that Samsung would have managed to sell in 2021 alone, three times more than during the previous period. TM Roh, a senior executive at the Korean, has just shared these very encouraging figures in a new blog post published on his company’s website last week.
But, as we know Apple likes to wait for the market to prove itself before getting on the page. We have seen this with the launch of the group’s connected watches, but also for wireless headphones or for the mobile fingerprint reader. It is therefore very likely that Apple will also decide to start manufacturing flexible mobiles, as some patents already tend to prove.
The competition is already tough!
If the firm at the apple actually presents a foldable iPhone, its success seems assured, that is not the question. No, what is likely to worry more than one analyst is rather the fact that Cupertino will therefore have to deal with heavyweights like the successor to the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold3 5G. This performance monster features a 6.2 to 7.6 inch panel, IPX8 certified and powered by 12 GB of RAM and a Snapdragon 888 chip.
Another stallion of the chaebol: the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip4 and its two 12 MPx rear photo sensors, wide-angle and ultra-wide-angle, which have little to envy to the iPhone 13 Pro available at the moment. Here, the 6.7 slab bends the other way for a format that is reminiscent of your good old GameBoy Advance SP.
the foldable smartphone sector is now mainstream. Understand that the public has embraced the solution and that it has democratizedconfirming the expectations of groups that have invested billions of dollars in their creation.
Consumers are thus switching more and more from a classic telephone to this new format, which is more practical or more comfortable, although still too expensive to suit all budgets. But with an iPhone 14 at more than a thousand euros each, a hinged version such as this concept and even less affordable may well cost double, at least…
Who is this mysterious biggest challenger to Samsung in smartphones?
Since the fourth quarter of 2020, Xiaomi has been officially presented as the Chinese mobile champion and Samsung’s biggest challenger in smartphones. He takes on these roles after the collapse of his compatriot Huawei due to the American embargo. At least that’s what market research firms read.
The reality is quite different. Samsung’s real biggest challenger is another Chinese manufacturer. It is unknown to the general public, except in the sectors of consumer electronics, fixed telephony or small household appliances.
On the heels of Samsung
The group, which is not listed on the stock exchange, was created in 1995 in Dongguan. It does not have a website encompassing all of its activities. Its founder Duan Yongping has made discretion his trademark. He is referred to as the “Chinese Buffett” in reference to William Buffett, a wealthy American entrepreneur and financier.
In many countries like India, some functions like procurement, manufacturing or research and development are pooled to some extent. But they now operate as independent entities with clearly differentiated marketing strategies in terms of products, prices, distribution and communication. ”
40% of the market in India
In some quarters, it even overtook Samsung, taking the lead in global sales. In India, it monopolizes 40% of sales in volume. Oppo and Vivo have been the two main engines of its rise in the market. But with the difficulties in China linked to the recurring Covid crises, they tend to skate. A brand created in 2018 by splitting off from Oppo, is now taking over by establishing itself as the fastest growing smartphone brand in history. It could rise to sixth place in global sales in the second quarter of 2022. Market volatility may force strategy adjustments and lead some of these brands to either strengthen their ties or distance themselves further. This is how OnePlus integrated Oppo in June 2021 to share the same software platform.
But it probably forms one of the three largest Chinese electronics groups alongside Huawei and Lenovo. A sign of its importance, it is the world’s fourth largest consumer of semiconductors in 2021, behind Apple, Samsung and Lenovo. Oppo and Vivo are starting to develop some of the key chips in their smartphones, similar to what Huawei was doing before this strategy was stopped in its tracks by the US embargo.
According to Samsung, the foldable smartphone market is doing well
While Apple, Samsung’s main competitor, has not (yet?) presented foldable models of its iPhone, the South Korean firm is taking advantage of its lead by refining its manufacture. And celebrating its sales figures.
In a letter published by TM Roh, president of Samsung’s mobile division, we learn that the foldable smartphone industry grew by 300% in 2020, with nearly 10 million devices sold worldwide.
“I predict this rapid growth will continue,” says TM Roh. “We’re at the point where these foldable devices are going mainstream and will take a bigger place in the overall smartphone market.”
The potential, according to Samsung, is therefore enormous. “Three years ago, Galaxy foldable smartphones could be summed up in one word: radical,” continues Roh. “Very quickly, however, it became clear that this revolutionary and flexible design was a perfect match for modern lifestyles. As a result, what was once a novelty three years ago is now the preferred choice of millions of people.”
Will foldable smartphones definitely become part of our lifestyles? Only the future will tell us. In the meantime, Samsung is taking advantage of its lead over the competition, with an 87.8% market dominance, compared to 9.3% for Huawei and 2.4% for Xiaomi.
These are the 5 brands that currently sell the most mobiles
Five of the brands that sell the most mobile phones on the market were able to accumulate more than 220 million units out of a total of 314 million that were sold throughout the first quarter of the year.
Once again, Samsung managed to take the first position in the ranking and Apple managed to maintain its second position, despite the rapid growth of Chinese companies.
Samsung, Apple and Xiaomi, the three brands that sold the most mobile phones in the first quarter of 2022
The report states that Samsung continues to be the undisputed leader in the telephony market, with a market share of 23.4% during the first quarter of the year, thanks to sales of 73.6 million smartphones, 17 million more than Apple.
Those of Cupertino, meanwhile, occupy the second position with a market share of 18%, after having sold 56 million iPhones. This represents growth of 2.2% over the previous year.
Xiaomi slips into third position, despite the fact that its sales fell by 18% compared to the previous year. Thus, it is positioned with a market share of 12.7% and sales of 39.9 million units.
OPPO and vivo occupy the fourth and fifth position respectively, with shares of 8.7 and 8.1%. OPPO managed to sell 27.4 million units, which is a 27% decrease compared to the previous year. For its part, vivo fell even more, by 28%, selling 25.3 million units of its smartphones.
The first quarter of 2022 was the third consecutive year in which the smartphone market recorded a decline in sales globally. Shipments fell 8.9%, due to supply chain issues, inflation and global economic uncertainty. In this sense, they mention that Samsung and Apple have been able to manage supply chain issues better than other companies.