Samsung, Nokia stamp out Vietnam mobile brands
Vietnamese mobile phone trading company, Thanh Cong Mobile, is pitting itself against foreign competitors with a strategy geared towards niche market products, sound prices, and post-sales service that the company believes to be above par. Last week, the company launched two Android-based handsets—Bavapen B508 and Bavapen B518—loaded with solid features and priced at roughly below $118 each.
The company's sales strategy is said to be a call for domestic support in order to gain footing in a cutthroat market that has seen foreign brands such as Samsung and Nokia kill several Vietnamese brands.
Thanh Cong CEO Nguyen Quoc Bao told VietNamNet Bridge that the foreign companies dominate the market with low prices, selling products for little, even at a loss, and running down the local manufacturers. The foreign companies wait until the Vietnamese brands are withdrawn from the market to step up, raise their prices, and make money.
VNN reported that Bao also found fault on the part of the Vietnamese brands who fail to provide a satisfactory post-sales service. In keeping the customers happy, distributors had to sometimes put up the money for buying back defective handsets from customers, which should be the manufacturer's responsibility.
There are also cases where foreign manufacturers abandon the Vietnamese market, leaving distributors to their own devices over where to find replacement parts and accessories.
Vietnamese brands that survive the market today "can be counted with the fingers." The market has initially seen a glut of local brands before being trimmed down to a handful. Vietnam's mobile industry is currently composed of manufacturers focused on making low-end Android-based smartphones. It was also reported that Bavapen, which first hit the market five years ago, had been absent from the market until its recent return.
While Bao blamed the death of many local brands on the low pricing strategy applied by foreign competitors, Vietnamese smartphone users expressed their dissent saying that the local brands' low quality has been the primary reason. Although Vietnamese companies design locally-branded handsets, the devices are currently manufactured and assembled at Chinese factories.
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