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Vietnam made phones hard-pressed to woo buyers

Posted: 06 Jan 2015 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:VNPT? Viettel? smartphone?

Local telecommunications companies in Vietnam, VNPT Technology, under state-owned Vietnam Post and Telecommunications Group (VNPT) and Viettel have been having a hard time to get a solid grip on the country's smartphone market. Struggling to woo customers since their launch, the Vietnam smartphone models, the Vivas Lotus S2 and S2 Eco, priced at just $75 and $104 respectively, have yet to establish an adequate market base.

Earlier, in late August 2013 the company launched the first Vivas Lotus 1 smartphone model for $185.

However the home-grown Viva Lotus line has barely had an impact on the huge market and is often ignored in shops.

Vietnam-made phones

VNPT Technology, under state-owned Vietnam Post and Telecommunications Group (VNPT), rolled out two made in Vietnam smartphone models that local consumers say have quality issues.

At the recent launch ceremony for the Vivas Lotus S2 and S2 Eco smartphones, VNPT Technology's marketing director Nguyen Van Nam frankly admitted that "We've received a lot of criticism since producing made in Vietnam smartphones. Local consumers have expressed negative comments about product quality."

Viettel launched its first locally made V8403 smartphone in October 2012.

The phone was reportedly based on similar technical specifications and configuration to the ZTE V790 model that had proved popular in Russia and India though Viettel underlined that their phone was entirely produced in-house.

In August 2013, Viettel announced that their factory was continuing to produce the Viettel V8502 model for both domestic and overseas market.

The company admitted that 90 per cent of the products were for sale abroad as domestic sales had proved modest.

VNPT Technology and Viettel's supposed 'made in Vietnam' phones both use components reportedly almost entirely imported from China.

Bui Nguyen Nam Son, a foreman at M1 Company Limited Terminal Enterprise under Viettel said that 70 per cent of components used in making their smartphones were imported.

"All of the components have been provided by our foreign partners," said Nguyen Van Nam, marketing director of VNPT Technology.

The recent launch of the cheaply-priced Vivas Lotus S2 and S2 Eco lines shows that VNPT Technology is still determined to target low-spending consumers, while Viettel is continuing its strategy of popularising smartphone usage in the Vietnamese market.

According to Viettel CEO Nguyen Manh Hung, the group is hoping to see every Vietnamese own a smartphone by 2020.

Viettel intends to produce smartphones that cost less than $47.60 per unit with a data package fee of only $3.30 per month.

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