In the past, those positions for the Chinese brands were reserved for HTC, LG, BlackBerry and Asus.
The Chinese brands are good in comparison with their prices, according to an owner of a private phone shop in Cau Giay district.
“The prices are surprisingly low, while features are okay,” he concluded. Vietnamese are willing to spend several million dong to use Chinese products for one or two years and buy new products after that time.
“Apple and Samsung products are only for high income earners,” he explained. “Even if you pay VND20 million to buy an iPhone now, the iPhone will also become out of date just after two years.”
The mid-tier smartphone market segment in Vietnam is dominated by Samsung and Oppo.
Besides Oppo, Xiaomi, Huawei, Honor and Vivo, there are a lot of other smaller brands whose products are only available at online shops. Observers said tens of Chinese brands are present in Vietnam, dislodging big names such as HTC, LG and BlackBerry from the market.
Vietnam is considered a key market for Chinese smartphone manufacturers which are trying to expand their business in the world market.
In 2017, Vietnam was one of three markets that Lei Jun, the founder and CEO of Xiaomi, visited in person. Soon after the working visit, the authorized reseller Mi Store, was opened in HCM City.
A report from GfK showed that Oppo was the second biggest smartphone brand in Vietnam. The Number 1 belonged to Samsung and Number 3 to Apple. The Chinese brand turned up in Vietnam in late 2012.
Also according to GfK, in March 2018, three out of five brands with the best sales in Vietnam were from China.
Most recently, Huawei made a shocking statement that it would become the second best selling brand in Vietnam by 2020. To turn the plan into reality, it would have to outstrip Oppo, which now holds 21% of market share, and Apple with 10.2%.
At present, Chinese products mostly target youth, who like selfies and social networks, and want smartphones with strong configurations but don’t have much money to buy high-end products.