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New iPhone models fail to impress locals

Update: September, 14/2013 - 09:38
Although the latest iPhone has met with a barrage of criticism from a number of Vietnamese consumers, Apple's phones are always one of the most wanted in the market . — VNS File Photo
HA NOI (VNS)— When Apple launched the iPhone 5C and 5S a few days ago, the phones met with a barrage of criticism from Vietnamese consumers.

"A four-inch screen again! Guess it will still be inconvenient to surf the Internet and play games," Hoang Tuan, a university student, wrote on an online forum about the 5S.

Vo Lan, an office worker, echoed Tuan's complaint: "I'd rather use the Galaxy Note II, which has a large screen over five inches wide, and wait for the day the iPhone 6 hits the market."

While many are unhappy with the small screen of the 5S, the 5C is too expensive for most Vietnamese even to contemplate. Nguyen Van Quan, manager of CellphoneS, said the selling price of VND15-16 million for the 16GB version – even higher than the price of the iPhone 5 – would make the phone "unsellable".

Mai Trieu Nguyen, director of the Mai Nguyen network, agreed the 5C had many problems. For one, it uses the same configuration as the iPhone 5; for another, it has colourful covers that stray from Apple's black-and-white minimalist aesthetic, which might make people mistake the 5C for the Nokia Lumia.

If the phone cost less than VND10 million, it might stand a chance, Nguyen said.

The 16GB iPhone 5C costs US$549 (VND11.6 million) in the world market, which means that it would cost VND15 million in Viet Nam. Not many say they would buy such an expensive device.

But Tran Quang Anh, director of Nhat Cuong, a distributor, said it was too early to say if the product would be favoured by Vietnamese consumers.

"The iPhone 5 was criticised by the Vietnamese when it hit the market. However, the phones have sold well," Anh said. "I don't think Apple would do anything foolish."

While the 5S has no major changes when it comes to design, the configuration significantly improved, Nguyen said.

"There are big differences between the iPhone 5 and 5S, in a way that there never were between previous generations, such as the 3GS over the 3G, or the 4S over the 4," the director explained.

The 5S uses an A7 chip, which raises the processor speed by five times. It also provides fingerprint recognition and a stronger flash.

"If the iPhone 5S had a larger screen, it would be perfect," Nguyen said. — VNS

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