VietNamNet Bridge – The mobile phone imports in the first six months of 2012 were 23 percent lower than that of the same period of the last year, which has been explained by the low demand in the economic crisis.
Mobile phone imports down, except luxurious products
According to the General Department of Customs (GDC), Vietnam imported 1.19 mobile phones in June 2012 worth 63.14 million dollars, representing the increase of 20.42 percent in terms of quantity and the increase of 7.52 percent in value in comparison with April 2012.
As such, in the first half of the year, Vietnam imported 6.26 million products, down by 23.72 percent with the import value of 304.4 million dollars, down by 15.32 percent in comparison with that of the first six months of 2011.
The imports decreases have been explained by the low domestic demand, since people nowadays tend to cut down expenses in the context of high inflation.
However, the imports decreases only happened with low cost and medium class products. Meanwhile, the import turnover of high grade mobile phones which have the sale prices of 5-10 million dong still has been increasing steadily so far this year, which shows that the economic crisis has in no way influenced the rich people.
Despite the gloomy market, the imports of HTC brand products still increased by 400 percent in the first five months of 2012, while the imports of other manufacturers have seen continued decreases.
Low demand leads to low sales
Mobile phone dealers said that there is a stiff rival between domestic and foreign brands in the low cost smart phone market segment.
Vietnamese brands such as Viettel, FPT or Q-Mobile, and foreign brands such as LG, HTC and Samsung all have been pushing up the development of smart phones, which they believe would be the key products in the near future.
Most recently, Q-Mobile launched a series of multi-touch smart phones with many features, which have very reasonable prices at 1.5-3 million dong only.
An executive of The Gioi Di Dong, the biggest mobile phone distributor in Vietnam, said that the products running on Android operation system have the prices on the decrease; therefore, they have become the big choice of the majority of consumers.
A report by IDC, a market survey firm, pointed out that Android-based products now account for 79 percent of the market share, much higher than Windows Phone and iOS.
“It is expected that the low-cost Android-based smart phones priced at 1.5 million dong would be available more on the market by the end of 2012. This, plus the enlarged 3G coverage in Vietnam and the more reasonable service charges would lead to the increase in the number of customers using the products,” the executive said.
However, popular products with low prices and few basic functions remain the biggest choice by the majority of customers. Therefore, mobile phone manufacturers all have been keeping a keen eye on the market segment. Q-Mobile, ConnSpeed, Avio, FPT and Nokia, Samsung, LG all have their products on the market.
A report by the Vietnam Industry and Trade Information Center under the Ministry of Industry and Trade showed that the mobile phone sales in the first months of 2012 were the lowest in the last three years.
Truong Dinh Anh, General Director of FPT Group, has agreed that the consumption has decreased significantly, explaining that people nowadays do not spend money on non-essential goods.
The Gioi Di Dong, Vien Thong A and FPT Retail all have reported the sharp fall of 30 percent in the first and second quarters of the year.
“Previously, a retail branch could have the revenue of 2.5-3 billion dong, while the figure has dropped to 1.5-1.7 billion dong,” Anh said.
Source: Buu Dien