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VSmart forecast to hold Vietnam’s third largest smartphone seller in 2020
Nhat Minh 10:08, 2020/03/09
Vietnamese smartphone brand VSmart is expected to maintain its smartphone market share and overtake Chinese brands in 2020.

VSmart took over the third place from Xiaomi and Huawei in Vietnam’s smartphone market in the fourth quarter (Q4) of 2019, and positioned itself behind the two major brands of Samsung and OPPO, according to the latest report from IDC Indochina, ICT market research firm.

 VSmart phones

According to IDC Indochina’s shipment data for the last quarter of 2019, Samsung led in terms of volume in Q4, with a market share of 29.9%, followed by OPPO with 19.1%.  Even though the two foreign brands still held the largest market shares throughout 2019, theirs dropped significantly in Q4 compared to the previous quarters of 2019.

The Vietnamese smartphone brand, owned by Vingroup’s subsidiary-VinSmart, placed itself in the third position with a 12.4% market share, much higher than that of Xiaomi at 6.5% in Q2 and 9% in Q2 of 2019.

There were roughly 5.09 million smartphones sold in Vietnam in Q4/2019, an increase of 33.9% quarter-on-quarter. Total smartphone shipment in Vietnam in 2019 was 16.4 million units.
 
Nguyen Lam, country manager of IDC Indochina, told Hanoitimes that total smartphone shipment in Vietnam for 2020 would grow 3.6%, compared to 6.7% in 2019. “We have no forecast for vendors’ shares; we only have knowledge of the current situation,” he said. He expected that VSmart would continue to maintain its footing in the country and remain in the top 3-5 vendors in terms of shipment in 2020.

Last November, VinSmart Research and Manufacturing Company inaugurated a new production line at its facility in Hanoi’s Hoa Lac Hi-Tech Park, after completing the first phase of the project. The company plans to manufacture 26 million devices per year in the first phase and 125 million devices per year once the facility runs at full capacity.

Among the reasons for VSmart to outpace Chinese brands, Lam cited the 50% pricing discount for LIVE model to push for market gain and pricing competitiveness; the distribution of 100,000 VSmart brand phones free-of-charge to Vinhomes residents as a way to build brand awareness and increase share; the introduction of lower pricing schemes (with similarly lower specifications) in comparison to competitors like RealMe, Xiaomi, among others, focusing on keeping the price at $150 per unit.

According to Lam, rumors have come to the market that VSmart is currently in talks with Viettel to form a partnership. This, together with the plan of Ministry of Information (MIC) and Communications on universalizing mobile phones are expected to boost the smartphone sales in Vietnam. The MIC pretends to reach smartphone penetration of 100% with an entry-level pricing model of just VND500,000 (US$21.5) per unit thanks to mobile service packages and pre-installed mobile apps on the gadget.
 
According to Lam, forming partnership alliance and building an ecosystem will likely forge VSmart to move ahead of its competitors, and retain user loyalty. Failing to do that would have an adverse effect. At the moment, VSmart is subsidizing its market penetration efforts in exchange for long term profits and sustaining business model.

“We might not able to ascertain its future success at the moment, but these game changing efforts are bold strategic moves of VSmart and adding fresh aura to the market,” Lam concluded.

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