Smartphone market: new brands heat up race

Lesser known and new smartphone brands have been making every effort to increase their presence in Vietnam. However, analysts believe they are not strong enough to change the market.

One of the most noteworthy events in the smartphone market in September was that Realme, a sub-brand of Oppo, announced it had 1 million users in India. This is expected to pave the way for it to enter the first markets in Southeast Asia – Indonesia and Vietnam.

Officially introducing new models, Realme 2 and 2 Pro in Vietnam in mid-October, Realme has joined the fierce competition in the smartphone market.

Targeting the low-cost smartphone market segment, Realme 2 is considered a rival to Xiaomi, Huawei and Samsung. 

A report from The Gioi Di Dong, the largest mobile phone distribution chain, found that 13 out of 15 bestselling smartphone models in the third quarter were products of Samsung and Oppo. 

Meanwhile, FPT Shop also reported that 4 out of 5 bestsellers at the chain were made by Samsung and Oppo. These two names have been dominating the smartphone market in recent years. 

Apple was not found in FPT Shop’s bestselling products and only one of its product was named in The Gioi Di Dong’s list. However, Apple remains the rival of other manufacturers.

The dominance of Samsung and Oppo in the smartphone market shows their reasonable business strategies which fit Vietnamese tastes. Huawei, Xiaomi and Nokia have been running ad campaigns, but they still cannot make things happen.

iPhone X, Galaxy S8 Plus, the ‘trump cards’ of Apple and Samsung launched late last year, have seen prices drop dramatically, by VND3 million on average in recent days.

Authorized resellers now quote the price of VND13.5 million instead of VND16.9 million for Galaxy S8 Plus, a very competitive price level in the high-end market segment. With the retail price, Samsung wants to compete with P20 Pro and Oppo Find X of Huawei and Oppo.

Most smartphone manufacturers have launched or are going to launch their flagships as Apple has marketed iPhone 2018, LG the LG V40 ThinQ and Google Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL. Some high-end models, including ones with 5G support, are expected to be introduced in the year-end sales season.

Some months ago, Motorola launched Motorola Z3, a smartphone connectable with 5G which will be available in 2019. However, Z3 needs Moto Mod 5G to be connected. 

Meanwhile, Xiaomi stated that its Mi Mix 3 will not need anything to connect with 5G.