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Foldables enjoyed a record quarter thanks to the Galaxy Z Flip 3, Fold 3

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold Flip 3 Open
Samsung Galaxy Z Fold Flip 3 Open (Image credit: Nick Sutrich / Android Central)

What you need to know

  • The latest numbers show that Samsung led foldable shipments in Q3 2021.
  • Total foldable shipments in Q3 were 2.6 million, with Q4 expected to grow to 3.8 million.
  • DSCC expects 2022 foldables to exceed 17 million.

The latest report from Display Supply Chain Consultants (DSCC) shows that foldable shipments are improving, thanks mainly to Samsung's best foldable phones.

The numbers show that shipments in Q3 2022 exceeded the previous four quarters combined with 2.8 million units shipped. Unsurprisingly, most of that volume could be attributed to Samsung's cheaper Galaxy Z Flip 3, which accounted for 60% of foldable shipments during the quarter, while Samsung took 93% of total foldable shipments overall. Huawei managed just 6% share with its Mate X2 phones.

"Samsung's August release of its improved foldables, the Galaxy Z Flip 3 and Z Fold 3, at more attractive prices along with strong promotional efforts and attractive trade-ins ensured the unprecedented growth of the foldable market," says Ross Young, CEO of DCSS. "Furthermore, additional growth is expected in Q4'21 when the products are available for a full quarter."

Foldable shipments are expected to grow to 3.8 million in Q4, partly because it's the first full quarter that Samsung's new phones will be available. The growth will undoubtedly be driven by carrier offers and trade-in deals, which helps consumers swallow the $1000+ price tags, particularly for the more expensive Galaxy Z Fold 3, which is expected to gain significantly in foldable share this quarter.

Foldables Market Share Q3 Q4

Source: Display Supply Chain Consultants (Image credit: Source: Display Supply Chain Consultants)

In fact, some of the Cyber Monday Galaxy Z Flip 3 deals are still live now, which gets you the phone for $400 off or even for free with a trade-in. The Galaxy Z Fold 3 offers similar deals, although they likely won't last long.

With Samsung pushing heavily on foldables and other OEMs expected to debut their own, DSCC expects foldable shipments to exceed 17 million in 2022. And while the Galaxy Z Flip 3 will likely lead the pack, analysts expect that the clamshell foldables don't have much of a future compared to their larger-screened counterparts. However, until prices come down, there's still a way to go before foldables of any size become truly mainstream.

Still, with an improved outlook for foldables and more companies producing more durable, higher-quality devices, prices may continue to fall over the years, even if slowly.

Derrek is a long-time Nokia and LG fanboy who loves astronomy, videography, and sci-fi movies. When he's not working, he's most likely working out or smoldering at the camera.