Foldable smartphones shipments will reach 18.5 million units in 2023

According to previous reports, foldable smartphones currently account for about 1.1% of the overall market share. With the gradual alleviation of problems such as screen creases and software optimization, it is expected that foldable smartphones will occupy a larger market share in the future. Recently, TrendForce released a report, predicting that the shipment of foldable smartphones will reach 18.5 million units in 2023, and the output value of hinges will exceed $500 million, with an annual growth rate of 14.6%.

Galaxy Z Fold 4 camera

One of the issues that consumers are most concerned about with foldable smartphones is screen creases, and hinges are closely related to screen creases. According to the difference in the bending shape of the middle of the screen when the foldable smartphone is folded in half, the hinge can be divided into two designs: teardrop-shaped and U-shaped. There are more parts in the teardrop-shaped hinge, and the creases formed on the screen are shallower, but the cost is also higher. The first problem facing smartphone manufacturers using the teardrop-shaped hinge is cost pressure.

According to TrendForce research, in 2022, Samsung, which adopts U-shaped hinges, accounted for about 82% of the foldable smartphone market, and most of the hinges will be provided by manufacturers such as KH Vatech and S-connect. Other manufacturers use teardrop-shaped hinges, and the suppliers are Amphenol, Asia Vital Components (AVC), etc.

As one of the first manufacturers to launch folding screen mobile phones, Samsung Galaxy Z Fold series mobile phones use U-shaped hinges and improve the user experience by introducing torsion structures and improving hinge materials. TrendForce believes that Samsung’s active development of U-shaped hinges is to reduce costs, so as to seize the market as soon as possible and ensure its own profits when foldable smartphones develop. There are currently reports that Samsung will use a teardrop-shaped hinge on the Galaxy Z Fold 5.