US: Has the buzz around foldable phones worn off?

Graeme BruceBusiness Data Journalist
October 18, 2021, 7:55 PM UTC

Fewer Americans appear to be interested in foldable phones compared to six months ago, trended data from YouGov Direct shows. 

In a poll conducted in October, 42% of Americans say they’re interested in purchasing a foldable phone as their next device, a drop from 50% in April 2021. 

In the last half-year, Samsung has released its latest duo of foldable devices, the Galaxy Z Fold 3 and the Galaxy Z Flip 3. Much has been written about a possible folding version of Apple’s iPhone, though it’s thought highly unlikely to be an imminent offering. 

The latest YouGov survey shows the changing attitudes around foldable devices. Notably, fewer Americans uninterested in the devices say they’re a fad (43% in April vs. 31% in October). Also, as prices have come down slightly, the concern about the cost of the devices has also dropped (37% said the cost was too high vs. 30% in October). 

Despite some recent attempts to quell concerns, worries about durability remain unchanged from six months ago with 49% of American adults listing this as a reason why they aren’t interested in a foldable device. 

The cool factor of these devices is increasing. Among Americans interested in owning one of these devices, 39% say it’s because they are cool, up from 29% who said so in April. A similar figure is seen in the proportion who say the unique form factor compared to other smartphones is what is drawing them in (25% in April vs. 35% in October). 

YouGov Direct survey data also shows that Americans intrigued by the idea of a foldable phone may be willing to spend more. Data shows 20% of these consumers are willing to spend upwards of $1,000 (14% in April), while 17% are prepared to go even higher (12% in April). 

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Methodology: YouGov polled 1,200 US adults online on October 12, 2021 between 1:01 p.m. and 4:09 p.m. ET. The survey was carried out through YouGov Direct. Data is weighted by age, gender, education level, political affiliation, and ethnicity. Results are nationally representative of adults in the United States. The margin of error is 2.8% for the overall sample. Learn more about YouGov Direct.