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For the first time, the top foldable phone maker globally wasn't Samsung

Despite a trade ban by the US, HUAWEI managed to unseat Samsung from its foldable throne.

Published onMay 30, 2024

Galaxy Z Fold 5 open upright resized
Hadlee Simons / Android Authority
  • HUAWEI has unseated Samsung as the top foldable phone manufacturer in Q1 2024, according to a report.
  • It’s believed that the company’s adoption of 5G in its foldables is a key reason for increased shipments.

Samsung has ruled the global foldable phone market since it launched the original Galaxy Fold back in 2019 and the Galaxy Z Flip back in 2020. Unfortunately for the Korean manufacturer, it’s just been knocked off its perch for the first time.

Counterpoint Research reports that HUAWEI has overtaken Samsung to be the top foldable phone manufacturer in Q1 2024. The Chinese brand’s foldables accounted for 35% of the global foldable market, compared to Samsung’s 23%. Just a year ago, HUAWEI had a 14% global share versus Samsung’s 58%.

Counterpoint Q1 2024 foldable phone markets
Counterpoint Research

Needless to say, the tracking company reports that HUAWEI’s transition to 5G in foldables is the reason for its ascent to the top of the global market. It unsurprisingly noted that the Mate X5 was one of China’s best-sellers for three consecutive quarters, while pointing to the HUAWEI Pocket 2 as a popular device for the company in Q1 as well. The manufacturer has heavily leaned on its home market since the introduction of a trade ban in 2019, so we’re guessing that China made up the vast majority of HUAWEI foldable shipments.

HONOR and Motorola also saw huge spikes in yearly growth, with Counterpoint citing each brand’s overseas shipments. In fact, the two brands accounted for third and fourth places, respectively.

The tracking firm also noted that this was the first time since 2021 that book-style foldable phones accounted for the majority of global foldable phone shipments (55%). But it explained that Flip foldables from HONOR and Xiaomi, along with the Galaxy Z Flip 6, are set to arrive later this year. So we’ll likely see Flip-style foldables account for the majority of shipping foldable phones by the end of the year.

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