Huawei overtakes Samsung as world’s top 5G foldable smartphone seller – South China Morning Post

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Huawei Technologies beat Samsung Electronics to become the world’s bestselling foldable smartphone brand in the first quarter, marking the first time that the US-sanctioned Chinese giant has topped that segment, according to a consultancy report.

Shenzhen-based Huawei saw its foldable smartphone shipments in the first three months of the year jump 257 per cent year on year, according to data published by research firm Counterpoint on Thursday.

In the same period last year, Samsung commanded 58 per cent of the global foldable smartphone market, while Huawei had only 14 per cent. The South Korean tech conglomerate’s share dropped to 23 per cent last quarter, surpassed by Huawei’s 35 per cent share, Counterpoint data showed.

A key driver of Huawei’s spike in foldable smartphone shipments is its new 5G models, according to Counterpoint. In the March quarter, 84 per cent of Huawei’s foldable shipments were 5G-enabled, compared to a year ago, when the company’s foldable line consisted solely of 4G LTE devices, the consultancy said.

Huawei’s booklet-type Mate X5 and the clamshell-type Pocket 2 are both popular foldable models in China, Counterpoint said.

Huawei reclaimed the top spot in China’s smartphone market in the first quarter, research firm IDC said in April. Counterpoint said Huawei’s smartphone shipments in the country rose nearly 70 per cent year on year that quarter, although it placed Huawei in fourth place, behind Vivo, Huawei’s budget spin-off brand Honor, and Apple.
The Chinese telecommunications equipment giant is likely to continue to prioritise foldable smartphones because of the higher selling price they command, even as the company faces challenges in securing supplies of its self-designed 5G SoC, according to Counterpoint.

Foldable smartphones are becoming increasingly popular in China, with shipments more than doubling to 7.01 million in 2023 from 3.2 million in 2022, according to a report published by IDC in February.

Globally, first-quarter shipments of foldable smartphones this year rose 49 per cent year on year, driven mostly by Huawei, as well as Honor and Lenovo Group-owned Motorola, which saw shipments grow 460 per cent and 1,473 per cent, respectively, according to Counterpoint.

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