Samsung is America's top preferred foldable brand, closely followed by Apple... wait, what?

Samsung is America's top preferred foldable brand, closely followed by Apple... wait, what?
It's no big secret that the world's largest smartphone manufacturer has no real competition to speak of in the steadily growing foldable category, but if you needed a new stat to perfectly illustrate and emphasize the current void behind the market segment's leader, you can find exactly that in this very interesting survey conducted by Counterpoint Research.

39 percent is the share of US-based respondents who named Apple as their number one preferred foldable brand.... despite there being no iPhone Fold available today or coming anytime soon according to the latest official and unofficial information.

In fact, most recent rumors on the matter have hinted at no interest whatsoever from the Cupertino-based tech giant in such a product in the next two or three years, with an extravagant iPad Fold unlikely to connect to the masses instead expected out (by some insiders and tipsters) at some point in 2024.

Strong consumer interest for a fledgling product category

All of the above is obviously not stopping a lot of Americans from hoping that their favorite handset vendor will follow Samsung's suit sooner rather than later. Of course, the other possible explanation is that many people simply don't realize that Apple doesn't sell a foldable device at the moment and probably has no intention to do so in the very near future.

It would certainly be interesting to see what those consumers will do when the Galaxy Z Fold 5 and Z Flip 5 inevitably break cover without an iOS-powered counterpart considering there does appear to be a healthy degree of excitement for the foldable class in the US smartphone market.

The number of 2022 US Counterpoint Research Consumer Study participants "most likely" to buy a foldable next sits at a solid 28 percent, with an additional 16 percent of respondents claiming they are "somewhat likely" to make the same choice soon.

Because the market is still pretty young and largely devoid of choice, the number of uncertain consumers is also quite high, at 27 percent, while the "not likely" and "not at all" options were picked by 12 and 17 percent of survey participants respectively.

Those figures are almost unexpectedly strong for what's still a relatively small niche with an installed US base of 4.7 million last year. That's not unit shipments, mind you, but the grand total of foldable devices in active use in the country as of 2022, and it definitely sounds to us like that number could very well explode this year if the "willingness to buy" of all those people actually materializes.

Huge growth ahead?

This is all extremely good news for Samsung, of course, which trumps Apple to sit in first place as the nation's top preferred foldable brand, but also for Motorola, which may be able to sell quite a few Razr+ (2023) copies... if it actually releases that product stateside... at a competitive price.

The high prices of existing foldable smartphones are unsurprisingly blamed for the segment's relatively low industry penetration so far, especially among young people, so if Samsung can pull off a Lite version of its Z Fold or Z Flip, that already dominant share could absolutely skyrocket to leave everyone else in the dust.

In terms of foldable design preference, the "flip type" is predictably ahead of the "book type" in the US (just like everywhere else), but the difference between the two main form factors is likely not as large as you expected.

Also contrary to popular belief, male users are more attracted by Z Flip-style devices traditionally viewed as more "feminine" while female users like the gargantuan Galaxy Z Folds better. 

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