Smartphone market: big players lose ground to newcomers
VietNamNet Bridge - The declining popularity of several familiar brands has given opportunities for ‘rookies’ to squeeze into the domestic smartphone market.



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The high-end market is controlled by Apple and Samsung




Foreign brands are dominating the Vietnamese market which comprises three segments. The high-end market is controlled by Apple and Samsung, while Chinese products are prevailing in the mid-end and Vietnamese brands in the small low-cost segment. 

Once famous brands such as Sony, LG and Nokia have launched fewer models launched in Vietnam recently.

A market survey by GfK showed that Sony’s market share decreased to 2.4 percent in 2017 from 3.8 percent a year before. HTC was not even on the list of 10 manufacturers with highest turnover.

LG has not had any new smartphone model in the last two years. Besides XZ2 for the high-end market segment, the manufacturer brought the mid-end model Xperia L2 to Vietnam. 

LG has not had any new smartphone model in the last two years. Besides XZ2 for the high-end market segment, the manufacturer brought the mid-end model Xperia L2 to Vietnam. 

As for HTC, in 2014, it marketed 13 smartphone models, a figure higher than any other manufacturer. However, no HTC product series 2018 have been launched this year. 

Sony also has only a few models available in the domestic market. The twin XA2 and XA2 Ultra are highly appreciated, but they are sold in limited quantities.

As these strong brands don’t have many products in the high-end market, Apple and Samsung have more space in the playing field. Chinese smartphone manufacturers have a lot of models, but they still cannot penetrate the high-end market.

Oppo once had high-end models N and Find, but it has given up. Huawei has no models sold in Vietnam. Both of them are focusing on the mid-end market with model designs similar to Apple’s.

According to GfK, Oppo, Vivo and Huawei held 19.4 percent, 2.4 percent and 2.3 percent last year. The figures are expected to increase this year thanks to their heavy investments in newly introduced products.

An analyst said Chinese manufacturers are quick in updating consumption trends, which is a big advantage to attract Vietnamese customers who are fond of new models. 

The other foreign manufacturers, which have strong brands but are slow in designing new products, have been weeded out of the market. 

Chinese manufacturers focus on price and pay a lot for branding.

Nguyen Van Nam, head of the Brand and Competition Strategy Research Institute, said that the smartphone market no longer has the diversification as it had five years ago.

“The strong points of newly emerging brands are competitive prices and branding. But they have a big weak point, fame. They are not capable to run a race with Samsung or Apple,” he said.


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Thanh Lich

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