Samsung still has the world's two best-selling foldable phones, but Huawei is gaining ground

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Samsung still has the world's two best-selling foldable phones, but Huawei is gaining ground
Well, here's something you probably haven't heard in a minute. Huawei is growing fast in an important market dominated by Samsung despite obviously still not being allowed to use Android, Google's Play Store, or Google Mobile Services.

Naturally, we're not talking about overall smartphone sales around the world or even in the company's homeland of China here, which are two fields where Huawei's once mighty share has completely evaporated in recent years.

But the foldable segment could represent a new beginning, as the stunning P50 Pocket managed to propel its makers to a healthy 20 percent slice of the thriving category's global pie during the first three months of this year.

That's up from just 9 percent in the final quarter of 2021, and although Samsung's supremacy doesn't look threatened in the least in the short run, Huawei can definitely build on this progress for the future. The future of the still-small but rapidly expanding foldable smartphone market, by the way, looks rosy, with a 107 percent overall increase currently being projected for the entire year by DSCC.

Unsurprising top three, surprisingly small gap between #2 and #3

That would bring the total number of foldable device shipments to more than 16 million units, which is certainly not a lot in the grand scheme of the global mobile industry but is expected to continue growing at a similar (if not faster) pace in the next years.

Samsung accounted for a whopping 74 percent of the 2.22 million units sold worldwide between January and March 2022, mind you, but while the Galaxy Z Flip 3 was (once again) by far the most successful individual model out there, the aforementioned Huawei P50 Pocket came surprisingly close to beating the Z Fold 3 for the silver medal position.

That must be giving Samsung pause, although the Galaxy Z Fold 4 is already expected to prove far more popular than its extravagant predecessor thanks to, you guessed it, a "lower launch price than last year's $1799."

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This is actually not the first time we're hearing about possible Z Fold 4 and Z Flip 4 price reductions compared to their 2021 forerunners, but alas, no leaker, tipster, or industry analyst is bold enough to talk numbers, leaving us hoping for the best while preparing for the "worst", i.e. modest cuts of no more than $100 or so.

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More exciting things are yet to come 

One interesting number mentioned in today's market report is three, designating how many brands are likely to join the foldable category during the second half of 2022, contributing to "strong" overall growth anticipated in spite of various production challenges.

While these three companies are not named, Google's plans to enter the market have purportedly fallen through, with Apple also unlikely to try its hand at a foldable iPhone (or iPad, or something in between) anytime soon.

Motorola could well be one of the three mysterious brands given how long it's been since the previous Razr edition made its commercial debut, with OnePlus perhaps eyeing an earlier release than what we last heard through the grapevine and a few different candidates we can think of for the final spot in this lineup.

Other brands, like Oppo, Honor, Vivo, and Xiaomi, are also bound to at least try to ramp up their competition for Samsung (and Huawei), so it's really no wonder that the best is yet to come for the foldable market.

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