Viet Nam News
HCM CITY – Vietnamese mobile phone brands have been displaced from the market by high-quality foreign products and low-priced Chinese ones.
In the last few years Mobiistar and Q-Mobile were considered the strongest Vietnamese brands and achieved good growth.
Q-Mobile, at its peak in 2009-10, was much loved for its design and functions and its sales was third only behind Nokia and Samsung.
In 2014 Mobiistar was among the top five in sales at the FPT Retail Store along with Nokia, Samsung, Apple and Oppo.
Mobile service providers like VinaPhone and Viettel have also launched their own smart phones to promote their 3G services.
Technology companies like FPT and BKAV have also invested in the manufacture of mobile phones.
“Vietnamese mobile phone brands are popular,” Đoàn Văn Hiểu Em, head of telecom division of Thế Giới Di Động told Sài Gòn Tiếp Thị (Sài Gòn Marketing) newspaper.
But they face intense competition from popular international brands like Apple, Samsung, Nokia/Microsoft Mobile and emerging ones like Asus and Oppo.
And they cannot compete with the international brands in terms of advertising, marketing, public relations and promotional campaigns since they lack the latter’s resources.
Cheap price strategy
In 2009-11 a series of Vietnamese budget mobile phones appeared in the market.
According to market research companies, their main advantage was the low price.
But not long afterwards international manufacturers like Nokia and Samsung launched products at medium to low price - of under VNĐ3 million (US$150) – in addition to feature phones and two-sim ones to take on their local rivals.
Perhaps as a result, many Vietnamese brands like Hi-Mobile, Avio, Malate, BluePhone stopped operations around 2012 and disappeared off the shelves of major retailers like Thế Giới Di Động, FPT Shop and Viễn Thông A.
Only a few like Q-Mobile (now known as Q), Mobiistar and FPT Phone have survived.
“International companies’ business strategy of focusing on mid-range and cheap products knocked out Vietnamese brands,” Em added.
Chinese budget phones and no-name ones available at ridiculously low prices have taken over the low-priced market from Vietnamese brands.
Ngô Nguyên Kha, CEO of Mobiistar, told Việt Nam News that his company has survived thanks to its strategy of having a large range of products at various price points.
“We make not only cheap phones but also mid-range products.”
Recently the company has focused on smart phones that look like and have features similar to top-end ones but at affordable prices: like the Prime X and Prime X Max.
“The competition in the mobile phone market will be a long battle and Vietnamese brands have to be proactive to survive and grow,” Kha added. -- VNS