Samsung says almost 10 million foldable phones were shipped in 2021 (update)

The company also confirms it's launching new foldable at its next Unpacked event in August.

David Imel for Engadget

Just a couple of short weeks before its next Unpacked event, Samsung's chief of Mobile Experience (MX) Business, Dr. TM Roh, said 10 million foldable phones were shipped worldwide. It's unclear how many of those phones were Samsung's, but the company is the largest provider of foldables at the moment. In a post on the Samsung Newsroom, Roh also said that's a 300 percent increase from 2020 and that he expects what he calls "fast-paced growth" to continue. Most of its foldable customers, 70 percent of them apparently, went for the clamshell-like Flip. That's not surprising in the least: Samsung previously admitted that the Flip 3 motivated more people to switch brands than its flagships did.

The 10 million units Roh said the industry shipped last year is considerably larger than the shipment numbers IDC previously published, though. In a report by the International Data Corporation in February, it said it "witnessed worldwide shipments of foldable phones, inclusive of both flip and fold form factors, reach a total of 7.1 million units in 2021." Whichever figure is true, Samsung's MX division posted an increase in revenue last year, mostly due to the strong sales of its foldables and its latest Galaxy S devices.

In addition to giving an update on how Samsung's devices are doing, Roh has also confirmed that the company is introducing its next Flip and Fold models at its next Unpacked event. He also said Samsung made advancements to enhance users' experiences with the upcoming devices:

"I am excited to see people to discover new ways to do more of the things they love with the new foldable.... At our upcoming Unpacked on August 10th, you’ll see that the impact of our innovation is not only about what technology can do. It’s about what you can do. We’ve once again taken our inspiration from the most important source — Galaxy users — to push the limits of what’s possible. I can’t wait to show you the potential of our new Samsung Galaxy foldables as the ultimate tool for both productivity and self-expression."

Samsung's upcoming Unpacked event will take place on August 10th at 9AM ET. Join us at our YouTube channel to tune into our coverage, which begins at around 8:40AM.

Update: We previously interpreted Roh's statement as Samsung shipping a total of 10 million foldables in 2021. However, a Samsung spokesperson reached out to clarify that the number was an estimate for the entire industry based on the company's proprietary sales data. That said, Samsung is the largest provider of foldables at the moment and most of the units sold, whatever the real numbers are, were most likely Samsung devices.

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