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Report: Foldable phones had their breakout year in 2021

The Galaxy Z Flip 3 also accounted for most of Samsung's foldable shipments last year.
By
March 14, 2022
galaxy z flip 3 tent fold
Ryan Haines / Android Authority
TL;DR
  • Foldable phone shipments grew over 300% in 2021, according to a new tracking report.
  • Samsung was the undisputed leader thanks to its newest foldables.

Modern foldable phones have been a thing since 2019 when Samsung launched the Galaxy Fold. But the product category has taken a while to achieve huge sales success. Now, a new market share report by Omdia has shed some light on foldables in 2021.

The tracking company reported that global foldable phone shipments grew 309% year-on-year in 2021, with nine million units shipped last year. Unsurprisingly, eight million units were shipped in the second half of 2021, when Samsung launched its Galaxy Z Fold 3 and Galaxy Z Flip 3 devices.

Omdia foldable sales by model 2021
Supplied by Omdia

Staying with these devices, Omdia reports that the Galaxy Z Flip 3 was the most popular device, accounting for 4.6 million units shipped. Meanwhile, the Galaxy Z Fold 3 was ranked second for the year with 2.5 million units shipped. In other words, the Flip 3 accounted for almost two-thirds of Samsung’s new foldables sold in 2021.

Interestingly, the tracking company reported that Huawei was the second biggest foldable OEM in 2021, with 900,000 units shipped last year. Omdia also noted that Xiaomi’s China-only Mix Fold launched last year but didn’t meet sales expectations. Nevertheless, Xiaomi is tipped to offer a Mix Fold 2 later this year.

Finally, Omdia said that Chinese OEMs will likely limit their foldable phones to China this year too. That would be disappointing if true, as it means global users won’t have much in the way of quality choices aside from Samsung in 2022.

Nevertheless, it’s clear that the foldable phone segment saw some explosive growth last year after a slow start in 2019 and 2020. Now, about foldables breaching the $700 barrier.