BPhone: can it compete with foreign-made products?
VietNamNet Bridge - When asked recently about the position to display Vietnamese-made smartphones at The Gioi Di Dong, an official pointed to a corner of the showroom, behind shelves for accessories. 


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A row of feature phone products bearing Mobiistar brand was seen displayed on a glass sideboard. The official said some smartphone models of Mobiistar were not on display, but customers still could order because the products were available.

Mobiistar is now the only Vietnamese brand which has products displayed at The Gioi Di Dong, the largest mobile phone distribution chain in Vietnam.

In the past, The Gioi Di Dong sold Q-Mobile products, the Vietnamese brand which held 12 percent of the market share in 2010.

The arrivals of the ‘blockbusters’ including Apple’s iPhones and Samsung’s Galaxy caused a shift from feature phones to smartphones. Not only high income earners, but medium income earners can buy mid-end models or used products.

The arrivals of the ‘blockbusters’ including Apple’s iPhones and Samsung’s Galaxy caused a shift from feature phones to smartphones. Not only high income earners, but medium income earners can buy mid-end models or used products.

The market became hot when Chinese phone makers Oppo, Xiaomi, Huawei and Wiko were seen in both large cities and rural areas.

According to GfK, a market analysis firm, Oppo, Apple and Samsung now hold the largest market share. At The Gioi Di Dong, there are desks for customers’ experience for these products. 

At FPT Shop and Viettel Store, Vietnamese products are put on a glass sideboard in places where few people pass by.

Support industries weak

Samsung Vietnam has announced it will lift the localization ratio in its products to 57 percent in 2017. The manufacturer hopes the number of Vietnamese enterprises offered consultation will increase to 26 from 14 under a program for Vietnamese enterprises in Samsung’s supply chain.

Although the high-end Galaxy S8 product doesn’t have high localization ratio, it bears the words ‘made in Vietnam’. The lack of Vietnamese enterprises which can supply electronic components meeting Samsung’s requirements has prompted the South Korean electronics manufacturers to launch the consultancy program.

Mentioning Samsung and South Korea, Vu Thanh Thang, vice president of BKAV, said Samsung is bringing benefits to companies that want to make phones.

“The huge factory of Samsung in Vietnam provides an advantage to companies which have begun making smartphones domestically. When they come to Vietnam, accessories suppliers will follow them, which allows BKAV to approach accessory supply sources,” said Thang on the Al Jazeera TV channel. 

When BKAV introduced its BPhone in mid-2015, many people doubted the reported 70 percent localization ratio.


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Kim Chi

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