Feature phones still popular in Vietnam
VietNamNet Bridge - Analysts thought that with the increased popularity of smartphones, feature phones would disappear from the market. However, a high proportion of loyal users still exists. 


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In its golden days, 2010-2011, more than 1 billion feature phones were sold all over the globe each year. But in 2016, the figure was 396 million only.

Analysts predicted that feature phones would be eliminated amid the strong rise of Android and iOS run smartphones. But this has not happened. Having irreplaceable features, the products still hold a large market share, though sales have decreased considerably.

Analysts thought that with the increased popularity of smartphones, feature phones would disappear from the market. However, a high proportion of loyal users still exists. 

In Vietnam, the list of week’s top 10 bestsellers reported by thegioididong.com, the largest mobile phone distribution chain in the country, not only includes the latest advertised models such as Galaxy J Prime and Oppo, but also feature models such as Mobell M228 and two Nokia’s models 1-SIM and 2-SIM Nokia 105. 

Nokia’s feature phone sales in 2016 dropped dramatically to the level just equal to 10 percent of the sales in the heyday in 2010. However, Nokia feature phones sold more than 35 million units, which accounts for 8.9 percent of the feature phone market share. 

The statistics are encouraging to new owners of Nokia, giving them motivation to develop new feature phone models to remap the market led by Samsung with 52 million products sold in 2016, accounting for 13.2 percent of the global market share. HMD Global has remade the once-famous Nokia 3310 to launch into the market.

Though smartphones are getting more popular and cheaper (there are smartphone models priced at below VND1 million), but feature phones still have reasons to exist in the market.

Explaining this, the owner of a phone shop on Thai Ha street in Hanoi said feature phones can satisfy users’ basic needs – making calls, receiving calls and SMS. The outstanding feature of the phones is that they have long battery. 

Since feature phones are not designed to serve entertainment purposes and connect with internet.

They include the simple keyboard which is easy to remember and use. The simplicity proves to be a strong point for some older people who just want make calls or messages and hate complicated operations.

Arto Nummela, CEO of HMD Global which now owns Nokia brand, announced on March 24 during his working visit to Vietnam to prepare for the return of Nokia in the second quarter of 2017 that Nokia remains at the forefront of becoming a leading mobile phone supplier in the Vietnamese market. 


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Nam Thanh

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