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From Flip to Flat, to Foldable 5G—Smartphone Market Trends

Posted on 21st March, 2019 by Leo Lambert

As smartphone capabilities continue expanding and the market grows increasingly saturated, OEMs must find new and innovative ways to differentiate themselves amongst the competition. Where simple touchscreens were once enough to capture the attention of the masses and drive sales, many of today’s phone innovations are failing to inspire new purchases as consumers grow bored of trivial changes and new color options.

As technology continues to advance, however, there are several developments poised to transform the smartphone market in coming years and breathe new life into an overwhelmed space.

A Slowing Trend

The launch events of smartphones that once saw hordes of people line up outside stores in hopes of purchasing the latest and greatest tech have changed significantly over the last decade. A result of carrier contracts and frequent minor updates bearing near four-digit price tags, many consumers are holding onto their current models longer.

As a result, many major industry players have begun experiencing the effects of longer replacement cycles. In early 2018, Gartner published findings that Q4 2017 saw the first ever decline in worldwide sales of smartphones. Even powerhouse companies like Apple are feeling the heat, having lowered their 2019 estimated shipments from 212 million to 190.

Now more than ever, upgrade-worthy innovations like 5G and foldable devices will be the determining factors in OEM success in the smartphone industry.

5G Smartphones

Just as 5G connectivity is projected to revolutionize technology in the healthcare and automotive industries, so too will it impact the smartphone market. Along with lightning speeds, 5G capable phones are expected to be in high demand as adoption rates sore and consumers look to upgrade from their 4G predecessors. Experts are projecting that 5G smartphone sales will total 65 million units in 2020.

Foldable Devices

From flip to flat and now foldable, tomorrow’s smartphones will feature innovative designs and flexibility. Major companies like Microsoft and Samsung have already begun experimenting with foldable designs stirring curiosity amongst consumers who have grown tired of fragile and flat smartphones.

Major advantages of foldable smartphones lie in the primary material used in their design. Lightweight plastic allows for screen flexibility, a reduction in battery consumption, and increased durability as screens become virtually shatterproof.

While we near closer to the official introduction of foldable technology and 5G capable smartphones, these two innovations are positioned to be major disruptors in the space and should be of note for OEMs competing for market share.

Ensure your staff is IPC certified to produce in accordance with industry standards and with the quality and efficiency needed to remain competitive in this innovative climate. Contact the industry professionals at EPTAC today to enroll your team in an appropriate course and prepare yourselves to meet the growing smartphone demand of the near future.


For over 30 years, EPTAC has been a leading provider of solder training and IPC certification. We provide professionals with the tools and training they need to advance their careers and improve their businesses. With 15 locations across North America, our solutions and instructional staff provide easy access to knowledge that will enhance your business model and help you meet and exceed industry demands. For more information call 800.643.7822 or contact us.

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