The devices are expected to remain exclusively ultra-luxury devices and will not go mainstream in 2019, the company said.
"Foldable phones are now in mass production, and vendors have set realistic expectations for their sales performance," said Canalys senior director Nicole Peng.
"Samsung and Huawei will account for the majority of foldable smartphones shipped in 2019. But high shipment numbers are not the priority. The goal is to capture consumer awareness, and each vendor wants to prove it can achieve the greatest technological advances with its new industrial designs."
Senior analyst Ben Stanton said cost was the key factor that would hinder adoption. The Samsung phone is more than US$2000 while the Huawei one is closer to US$2600.
"The 'fold-out' design (with the screen on the outside, as used on the Mate X) will eventually lend itself to cheaper devices, as manufacturers won't need to include as many cameras, nor a second 'outside' screen (which the Samsung has), and the bend on the flexible screen won't need to be as tight," he said.
"But these devices will come too late to affect this year's shipment numbers significantly.
"In 2019, vendors offering foldable phones must ensure excellent quality and durability. Any early teething problems or breakages will sour the foldable form-factor before it has had a chance to get going."