Why almost all foldable phones are only sold in China

Folding mobiles are a reality, but their great success is limited to sales in China. Why in other countries do not achieve so many sales?

Foldable mobiles are one of the great revolutions of recent years in the world of mobile telephony. These are spectacular models, but the truth is that their success has been very limited to China, where most units are sold. What is the reason behind?

The YouTube channel TechAltar gives us the answer to why almost all foldable phones are only sold in China: because most models are only sold in China, like OPPO Find N or Honor Magic V, as we see in the following image. However, this creates another question: why are they only sold in this country? The technical expert gives us the answers.

Honor Magic V

Folding mobiles are particularly successful in China.

Why almost all foldable phones are only sold in China

From TechAltar, they reflect on why they in China appreciate all “cool” mobiles. The first examples he gives are the OnePlus 10 Pro, Xiaomi 12 and Motorola Edge X30, which reached the international market but which took a few months to do so.

What interests us in this article, however, are the cases of OPPO Find N, Honor Magic V and Xiaomi Mix Fold, which we have been waiting for the launch outside of China for several months. At present, it seems that the companies do not intend to bring them out of Chinese territory, so their availability is very limited.

The fact that the majority of foldable mobile models are only marketed in China explains very well why the majority of devices sold are registered there. In fact, outside of China for years we have been saying that the current year would be the big year for foldable phones, but we are still not right.

There are a number of reasons why these major manufacturers are choosing not to launch their foldable phones outside of China. The first of these relates to the costs that this exit to other markets will entail, whether they sell a unit or a million. These are costs to be paid in each country where the terminal arrives, such as translation of the software into each language, personal user support and new packaging.

In addition, each mobile must receive a number of security certificates in addition to those from Google, as well as the certificates of each mobile operator that will sell the phone. If these certificates are expensive and have been in a “traditional” smartphone for a while, they are even more foldable as they have a more complex construction.

Knowing that they will not be very successful, manufacturers prefer to save the money involved in launching foldable mobiles outside of China.

As they add from TechRadar, there are also marketing reasons behind this limited availability of foldable phones outside of China. In order to sell these innovative smartphones, companies had to invest in big marketing campaigns with celebrities from each country, with the increased expenses it would entail.

It is true that foldable mobiles carry a slow but steady invasion, even though their sales data are still insufficient to justify large investments of money in their expansion to other countries. In fact, by 2021, only 7.5 million foldable phones were sold, while the rest of smartphones totaled 1,400 million units.

As the tech expert explains, the decision not to launch many foldable mobiles outside of Chinese territory may also be due to weak demand from distributors like O2 or Verizon, who prefer not to have a lot of alternatives with these features in the market.

In short, the main reason why most foldable phones are sold in China is because the manufacturers do not want to spend the money involved because they know that the devices sold will be very few. When they weigh everything they know, they prefer to limit themselves to success in their country and countries in the US, Europe and the rest of the territories with mobiles that will have guaranteed success.

If you want to try a foldable smartphone, you can always try Samsung: Galaxy Z Fold 3 5G and Galaxy Z Flip 3 5G. You also have the option of Huawei, which recently launched its Huawei P50 Pocket. The options are not very wide, but you can still get a good foldable mobile for everyday use.

Related topics: Chinese mobiles

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