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Foldable smartphone shipments to grow by 44% in 2023, with 18 million units sold.

Published: 2023-01-16

Analyst firm Trendforce has released a report that predicts more than 18 million flexible screen smartphones will be shipped in 2023, up 44% from 2022 last year.

According to analysts, 12.8 million foldable smartphones were shipped last year, and by 2023 their number will exceed 18.5 million. like Xiaomi, Oppo and Vivo, they sell their devices mainly only in China and these sales are still extremely limited.

The release of new folding gadgets is inextricably linked with the production of screen hinges. Currently, there are two types of loops - teardrop and U-shaped. The first contains many complex details and costs several times more, the second is cheaper, but does not guarantee the absence of a crease in the middle of the screen. It is the cost, reliability and availability of the hinge for the manufacturer that will determine the development of folding devices. The total roll-out screen mechanism market will reach $500 million in 2023, up 14.6% from the previous year. It is this data that allows Trendforce to make a general forecast for sales of foldable smartphones in general.

The key players in this field are KH Vatech and S-connect, which supply U-shaped hinges for Samsung. Brands using more complex hinges are partnering with manufacturers such as Amphenol and Asia Vital Components. Display manufacturers are also introducing their own developments in the field of folding hinges. CSOT introduced a "semi-kit" manufacturing process that integrates the OLED display into the necessary hinges, creating a one-piece component. This will simplify manufacturing and increase durability.

Foldable smartphone users are most annoyed by the crease in the middle of the screen. Samsung is aware of this issue but will continue to use the U-shaped single axis hinge. Such a mechanism creates a small groove on the screen, but is much cheaper and more technologically advanced. It can be assumed that the prices of future Galaxy Z Fold devices due to the use of such a folding mechanism will be lower.