Vietnamese smartphones go global

By Minh Thu - Jun 20, 2019 | 01:52 PM GMT+7

TheLEADERVsmart and Mobiistar smartphones are going abroad to gain market share when local smartphone market has been dominated by international rivals.

Vietnamese smartphones go global
Vsmart has been able to secure roughly 2 per cent of the mobile phone market segment in Vietnam

Vsmart, the smartphone brand developed by Vietnam’s largest private enterprise Vingroup, made its debut in the market of Spain in March, merely three months after its launch in the domestic market. 

In May, Vsmart announced that it will be distributed across Asia, with Myanmar to be the first destination, then moving on to India, Thailand, Laos and Cambodia later this year.

With four mid-end smartphone models, ranging between VND2.5-6 million ($108-260) apiece, Vsmart has been able to secure roughly 2 per cent of the mobile phone market segment in Vietnam, according to data by global market research company Gfk. 

Despite being a new player to the market, Vsmart has made a rather impressive entry when it took over Mobiistar’s stand in terms of market share. The local smartphone brand now trails just behind other mid-end rivals like Xiaomi (3.8 per cent), Realme (2.45 per cent) or Vivo (2.3 per cent).

The market penetration of Vsmart has seemed to threaten its rivals and they could be more worried when Vsmart has lately stated that it is going to set up its second smartphone plant in Hoa Lac High-tech Park, with a scale of 15.2 hectares, in Hanoi.

The first phase of the construction is expected to complete on August 15, with a production capacity of 23 million units a year. The second phase will follow suit with a capacity of 34 million units a year later on in October. Once fully completed in 2020, the plant will produce up to 125 million units a year.

The production scale of Vsmart at present is said to be equal to some one-third of Samsung Vietnam’s smartphone production scale (approximately 300 million units a year) and 10-fold the production scale of LG factory in Haiphong (roughly 11 million units a year).

Given such scale, Vsmart will be able to cater to the smartphone demand in not only Vietnam but also foreign markets. Each year, there are about 12 million smartphones sold in the country, according to statistics.

Prior to Vsmart, Mobiistar has taken its initiative to tap into the India market sometime ago.

CEO of Mobiistar Ngo Nguyen Kha has once noted that there are two major reasons for this local smart phone to go internationally.

The drop in smartphone consumption rate is one of them. Adding to this is the more competitive market with too many players entering the field.

The second reason is the fact that the offshore mobile phone markets are considerable attractive for local smartphone producers. Market of mid-end products, according to Kha, is rather abundant and Vietnamese smartphone brands can secure their market segment there with no trouble.

Mobiistar has paid a lot of attention on its India market in the recent years and this has explained for the slump in its market share in Vietnam. The company nevertheless said that it will not leave the local market for good.

The promising mobile phone market in Vietnam has also given rise to other brands like Asanzo, a local TV manufacturer and BKAV with its Bphone in the past years.