Foldable phones to reach 30mn units by 2023: Gartner
In addition to the surface of the screen, the price is a barrier we expect to decline with time. Currently priced at $2,000, foldable phones present too many trade-offs, even for many early technology adopters
Foldable phones will account for 5 per cent of high-end phones by 2023, amounting to 30 million units as they are expected to potentially re-inject innovation in the smartphone market, said a new report by Gartner Inc. on Monday. "We expect that users will use a foldable phone as they do their regular smartphone, picking it up hundreds of times a day, unfolding it sporadically and typing on its plastic screen, which may scratch quickly depending on the way it folds," Roberta Cozza, Research Director at Gartner, said in a statement.
"Through the next five years, we expect foldable phones to remain a niche product due to several manufacturing challenges. In addition to the surface of the screen, the price is a barrier we expect to decline with time. Currently priced at $2,000, foldable phones present too many trade-offs, even for many early technology adopters."
Shipments of mobile phones are estimated to reach 1.8 billion units in 2019, a decline of 0.5 per cent year over year (YoY). However, in 2020, the mobile phone market is forecast to return to growth, with a shipments increase of 1.2 per cent from 2019. "Users have reached a threshold for new technology and applications, which means that unless new models provide significant new utility, efficiency or experiences, users don`t want or need to upgrade," Cozza added.
Nevertheless, vendors need to realise that consumers are extending the lifetime of their phones. The market research firm expects the average high-end phone lifetime to increase from 2.6 years to 2.8 years through 2023.