Domestic companies currently control up to 80 per cent of the desktop computer market, a segment that is no longer attractive, says market research firm IDC Viet Nam.
HA NOI —
|An engineer installs software onto hard drives at a CMS plant in Ha Noi's Sai Dong Industrial Zone. — VNS Photo Truong Vi |
The number of desktops sold on the domestic market — with major brand names including FPT Elead, CMS and VTB — now represents about 27 per cent of total computer sales, a ratio far lower than the figure of five years ago, 70 per cent.
Total turnover of the five leading domestic computer makers last year reached only about VND1 trillion (US$48.1 million), down 25 per cent over the previous year.
Viet Nam's top five computer companies selected by the HCM City Computer Association last year included FPT, CMS, Robo, Viettronics Tan Binh and the Khai Tri Technology Trading Co.
IDC Viet Nam says the local market is tracking global trends, with laptops and tablets growing more strongly than desktops.
In the fourth quarter of last year, the desktop market declined about 15 per cent, while the mobile computer market grew up to 43.5 per cent, an IDC Viet Nam chart shows.
Tablet lines will grow 85 per cent this year, the company predicts.
Representatives of FPT, Robo and CMC say they expect no bright developments for the desktop segment and declined to give any further comments about it.
IDC Viet Nam says FPT and CMS are eyeing expansion into the laptop and tablet segments, but they haven't been able to imprint their steps in these areas.
IDC national director Lam Nguyen told Nhip cau Dau tu (Investment Bridge) that tablets made domestically by FPT, Pi Vietnam, CMS or Hanel had not been accepted by major distributors, making up less than 1 per cent of the market.
The tablet market remained mostly in the hands of major foreign brand names including Apple, Samsung, Acer and Asus.
The reason was that, he said, local tablet dealers had not paid adequate attention to studying and analysing the market to grasp local consumer demand and psychology.
Most made-in-Viet Nam tablets have been developed without specific designs, software and applications that are reserved for Vietnamese people.
Le Huy Toan, head of the The gioi Di dong (Mobile World) Co's digital products section, reportedly said the company had stopped selling tablets made by Pi Vietnam due to sluggish sales, despite many special offers.
Military-run Viettel Group recently said it planned to enter the low-cost tablet market with an expected price of about VND4 million ($192) per unit.
The company said it would target specific customers and develop special applications for education and sales.
Industry insiders raised a question: who would choose to buy Vietnamese tablets when Apple was preparing to launch about 6 million cheap iPads itself?
Nguyen Dinh Chien, director of the Viettel Research and Development Institute, told Nhip cau Dau tu that it would be difficult to compete with tablets already available on the market.
"But if we write additional software for tablets and make them become tools for salesclerks, they will have an absolutely different value," he said.
Lam Nguyen agreed, adding, "Enterprises need to invest in technology and human resources systematically so as to be able to compete with imported products."
In the meantime, he said, domestic computer firms still had a way to go: they could sell desktops to remote areas and specific sectors like banking, healthcare and education. — VNS