Analyst house IDC predicted continued significant growth in foldable smartphone sales during 2023 as new vendors and upgraded models launch, citing the form-factor as the one positive talking point in the market.

IDC predicted a 50.5 per cent year-on-year increase in worldwide shipments of foldables in 2023, to 21.4 million units.

The 14.2 million units shipped in 2022 was slightly higher than IDC predicted.

IDC expects foldable vendors to continue to increase the numbers shifted every year to reach 48.1 million units in 2027, representing a market value of $42 billion.

Although this level of growth would likely signify an increase in the segment’s proportion of the overall smartphone market, it still represents a small share.

For 2022 IDC figures attribute a 1.2 per cent share of the total market to fold and flip devices, with this expected to rise to 3.5 per cent in 2027.

The analyst house noted the form-factor remained “the one positive talking point” in the total smartphone market, which declined more than 11 per cent in 2022.

It added although there had been a 10 per cent drop in foldable ASPs in 2022, the devices remained in the premium segment.

“IDC has witnessed vast improvements in durability and build, while the overall user experience has been elevated with advancements in software and hardware across all vendors,” the company stated.

“More models from both new and current vendors are expected to bring further improvements and enhancements to the category to help drive continued adoption.”

Although foldables are tipped to continue their increased traction, IDC expects the smartphone market as a whole to fall slightly in 2023.