Foldable smartphones don't sell

by Volker Weber

Globally, 1.74m foldable devices were shipped from the first launch last September through June 30, according to market tracker Canalys. That is a fraction of prepandemic forecasts and a rounding error in an industry that shipped 1.28bn smartphones during the 12 months ended that same date. ... Phone makers had expected initially modest sales, but even those forecasts have proven to be lofty. Samsung had originally aimed for 6 million foldable-device shipments in 2020; halfway through the year, they have hit one-tenth of that target.

Reviewers and influencers love them. Buyers mostly ignore them. Too expensive, fragile, bulky. Android smartphone shipments have declined 20% and while we are stuck at home, you cannot really flash your new toy.

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It reminds me of 3D TV where companies were desperate to sell us devices that we didn’t really want. Where’s the market for compromised phones that can change into small compromised tablets?

Kieren Johnson, 2020-09-07

Foldable phone, I had a foldable Motorola StarTac back in the day. Upper half literally flew away after a year when a hinge broke. No more foldable mobile devices for me.

I love our 3D TV, though. For me a tangible benefit but also can understand why others did not find it to be a killer feature.

Tobias Hauser, 2020-09-07

At the moment I would not recommend them to anyone who is not aware that they are really not very durable technology demos. Nevertheless, I am glad that they are made.

Hubert Stettner, 2020-09-07

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