Science/technology

Made-in-Vietnam smartphones facing gloomy fate

The domestic market in the past few years has witnessed the confident appearance yet miserable status of certain made-in-Vietnam smartphone brands like Asanzo, Bphone, or Mobiistar. Although giant technological corporations in the country still have the ambition to introduce locally made smartphones, consumers cannot help but wonder whether there is a possibility for them to win against already popular global brands.

The made-in-Vietnam smartphone - Vsmart

The made-in-Vietnam smartphone - Vsmart

A few years ago, the first smartphone fully manufactured by a Vietnamese company – Bphone of BKAV – was introduced to the market, wholeheartedly welcomed. However, as other giants in the field continuously improve their products to meet customers’ strict demands, Bphone shows no signal of updating. BKAV could not fulfill their promise to launch the next version of Bphone this year, and has to delay its debut until next year.

Another rare made-in-Vietnam smartphone is Asanzo. Nevertheless, due to a lack of origin and tax transparency, its company is now facing legal trouble. As a result, Asanzo S6 smartphone, even with a price of less than VND2.5 million (approx. US$109), cannot attract many buyers.

The most infamous story is about Mobiistar, a Vietnamese smartphone brand appearing around 2009. Unexpectedly, in June 2019, it announced its withdrawal from the Indian market as its partner in the destination country – Vsun Technologies – declared bankruptcy. This created an interruption to the supply chain of Mobiistar in India, also shattering the dream of bringing Mobiistar back to Vietnam.

In a market dominated by such prestigious international corporations like Samsung or Apple, another brave Vietnamese company determined to launch its own product. Vsmart smartphone of Vingroup is formally invested, has gone through thorough research and development stages, and is manufactured a similar factory to famous international ones.

Built on an area of 15.2ha in Hoa Lac Hi-tech Park (in Hanoi), this factory is able to create 23 million smartphones per year in its first stage. This performance will be increased to 34 million products a year in the next stage. Vsmart’s technology is based on the high standard platform thanks to the collaboration with leading technological companies in the world such as Qualcomm, Google, ArcSoft, and DxO.

It is estimated that more than 100,000 residents in Vinhomes apartment buildings are presented this smartphone on the New Year occasion.

Before that, in November 2019, the Vsmart Live line reduced its price from VND6.99 million ($303) to VND3.49 million ($151) for the 4GB RAM version, and from VND7.79 million ($338) to VND3.79 million ($164) for the 6GB RAM version.

The domestic market is putting great hope on this high-quality smartphone with a reasonable price.

By BA TAN – Translated by Huong Vuong

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