Vietnam's mobile market heats up with foreign players

By Viet Dung - Aug 18, 2018 | 11:05 AM GMT+7

TheLEADERDespite being considered to reach a saturation point, the Vietnamese mobile market remains to be a fertile land which is experiencing a tough battle with dominance of foreign players across various market segments.

According to global market research company GfK, by the end of November 2017, total smartphone shipments in Vietnam reached more than 13.5 million, an increase of 3.1 per cent over the same period of previous year. Compared to last year, smartphone's growth this year is not high.

The Vietnam smartphone market is said to reach saturation point and the level of competition in the industry becomes higher and higher when there are nearly 20 phone brands sold in Vietnam.

However, major players of this field are still foreign brands and three brands including Samsung, OPPO and Apple account for up to 75 per cent of market share of which only South Korea's Samsung holds 46.5 per cent.

Who holds Vietnam mobile market?
Major players in Vietnam's smartphone market are still foreign brands

Not only selling phones, Samsung also built its ecosystem that manufactures and assembles smartphones in Vietnam through cooperation with South Korean and Japan's suppliers.

China's brand OPPO ranks the second with 19.4 per cent of market share in the first 11 months of 2017. It has kept market share stable for a long time thanks to the fashionable mid-class products and many effective advertising campaigns and marketing focused on young customers.

Apple ranked third in terms of market share with 9.2 per cent but its iPhone with price at roughly $600 and more is still the number one choice for consumers in the premium segment.

There is a big race between two giants Samsung and Apple in Vietnam and the world because each of them launches high-end smartphones with high prices annually. However, the battle cannot fully reflect the trend of Vietnam market.

According to the GfK's report in May 2018, it was notable that there was a growth of nearly 100 per cent of mid - class segment, within the range of VND7-10 million (equivalent to $300-430).

In the first five months of 2017, this segment accounted for only five per cent of Vietnam market but now, the figure is more than ten per cent.

The marked shift from the segment of VND5-7 million ($210-300) to the VND7-10 million ($300-430) in the past year showed that consumers were spending more money to have a phone meeting their needs, which prompted phone makers to launch more mid-range and high-end products.

Who holds Vietnam mobile market? 1
Samsung and OPPO sell most in mid - class segment, within the range of VND7-10 million (equivalent to $300-430).

In these segments, Samsung and OPPO contribute most in terms of quantity. According to data from leading retailers in Vietnam, in the first six months of this year, the two best-selling phones were Samsung Galaxy J7 Pro and OPPO F5 and both of which are priced at about VND6 million (roughly $260).

In the higher segment from VND7-10 million ($300-430), both Samsung and OPPO also contributed two representatives namely Galaxy J7 Plus and OPPO F7.

The GfK's report also indicated that OPPO was the dominant player with nearly a half of market share in the VND7-10 million ($300-430) priced phone segment and its proportion would continue rising in the future.

OPPO's advantage comes from the fact that it focused on the mid-range smartphone segment and since its entry into Vietnam, it has only two product lines which are medium and cheap.

At the same time, Samsung has to beat with other rivals in every segment. It has Xiaomi in low-cost smartphone line, OPPO in mid-range and Apple in high-class.