I remain skeptical that Apple will release a foldable iPhone, but a Counterpoint Research survey says that 28% of U.S. smartphone users are “highly likely” to choose a foldable device as their next purchase.
The research group says that the installed base of foldable smartphones in the US stood at 4.7 million in 2022. Other key points from the Counterpoint survey:
- Samsung is the most preferred brand for foldable purchase for 46% of the respondents, followed by Apple with 39% and Motorola with 6%.
- Samsung has the highest stickiness in terms of foldable preference, with 92% of Samsung users planning to stick with the same brand when making a foldable smartphone purchase.
- 49% of the respondents ranked the flip-type foldable at the top, followed by the book-type foldable.
- More than half of the male respondents prefer the flip-type foldable, whereas the preference for the flip-type foldable is slightly lower among the female respondents at 47%.
- On the other hand, the preference for the book-type foldable is stronger among female respondents (40%) than male respondents (30%).
- Respondents from a higher income bracket are more likely to purchase a foldable phone, with those having a monthly income of $10,000 and above most likely (41%) to opt for a foldable as their next smartphone purchase.
Despite the results of the Counterpoint survey, I still think we’ll see curved iPhone before a foldable one. Why?
As noted by the Make Use Of website, since the screen on a foldable phone folds and unfolds several times a day, it wrinkles down the middle and leaves a noticeable crease. This can prove to be interrupting in daily use as you slide your finger across the screen.
Also, as the article notes, dust is a big problem for foldable phones because they have a lot of moving parts. If any small dust particle enters the phone body via any one of its openings, it can cause problems and potentially kill the device.
Finally, Make Use Of notes that making a foldable phone means sacrificing a lot of internal real estate to house all the moving parts. The hinge itself takes up a lot of space.
“Due to this, foldable phones often have mediocre battery life—at least not as good as what they could have if the moving parts didn’t take up so much space,” notes Make Use Of.