1Low cost smart phone market to heat up in 2013While mobile network operators previously only focused on selling high-grade mobile phonesassociated with service packages, they now target the low-cost market segment, sincemanufacturers rush to popularize the hi-tech products.The sixth mobile network operator in Vietnam – Vietnamobile – has said that it would run aseries of sale promotion campaigns in 2013 to give more opportunities to consumers toapproach its services.Vietnamobile’s salesman teams would be present in many provinces and cities to give advicesand distribute simcards directly to customers. Especially, it plans to join forces with some mobilephone manufacturers to implement a plan to bring popular smart phone products withintegrated Vietnamobile simcards directly to customers.A senior executive of Vietnamobile has revealed that the products to be used in the campaignsare low cost smart phones, priced at less than VND4 million. Though these are low cost products,they not only can satisfy the basic needs, but also can be used to surf on Internet, take picturesand shoot videos.In fact, the marketing method called “selling beer together with finger food” – selling mobilephones integrated with services – was once applied by VinaPhone, MobiFone and Viettel, thethree biggest Vietnamese mobile network operators, in 2011 already.
2At that time, the two mobile phone product lines the network operators mostly used to attractcustomers were high grade smart phones – iPhone and Black Berry, which were sold at tens ofmillions of dong, or very cheap products, priced at no more than VND2 million. However, therehave been big changes so far.The military telco Viettel has recently announced that it successfully makes the smart phoneseries with two integrated simcards priced at less than VND2 million.“Low cost smart phones prove to be a growing tendency for now, especially in the context of theeconomic difficulties. We will offer more products to customers for their choices that fit theirpockets,” he said.A source from MobiFone has revealed that the mobile network operator planned to cooperatewith a low cost mobile phone manufacturer to run a campaign to sell simcards together withphone sets.“The negotiations are nearly completing and we hope we can reach an agreement right in thefirst quarter of 2013,” the source said.Prior to that, Beeline, which is now Gmobile, also joined forces with a big South Korean mobilephone manufacturer to develop a similar marketing plan. The products it planned to use for theplan were the smart phones priced at between VND2.5 million and VND5 million.A report by GfK showed that 16 million mobile phone sets were sold in Vietnam in 2012 with thetotal revenue of VND27 trillion. The figure was believed to be below the expectation with thepurchasing power down by 10 percent, while the market grew by 10-15 percent in previousyears.However, the hallmark of the market in 2012 was the strong rise of smart phones, especially theones running on Android operation system. The product series now account for 18 percent inquantity and 50 percent in value.Le Thao Trang, Marketing Director of Thegioididong, the biggest mobile phone distributor inVietnam, said the number of products to be sold in 2013 would not be much higher than in 2012,but the revenue is believed to increase significantly, because smart phones would be the mainproducts to be sold.source: TBKTVN (2_2013)