Vietnam Smartphone Shipments Up 12% in 2021

Article By : International Data Corp.

Vietnam's smartphone shipments grew by 11.9% to 15.9 million units in 2021, according to IDC.

Vietnam’s smartphone shipments grew by 11.9% to 15.9 million units in 2021, according to the International Data Corp.’s (IDC) Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker. This was driven by 4G phones, following a ban on the imports of 2G and 3G mobile phones from 1 July 2021, as well as high pent-up demand in the fourth quarter of the year following pandemic lockdowns in the second and the third quarter.

Vendors shipped a total of 5.1 million units in 4Q21, up 107.3% quarter over quarter (QoQ) and 31.6% year over year (YoY) when the authorities started to take a step-by-step approach to restore social and economic activities.

“Vietnam faced its first major lockdown since the start of the pandemic in major cities through September 2021, making a big impact on the smartphone market due to the closure of shops and malls,” said Thanh Vo, Research Analyst at IDC Vietnam. “The smartphone market gradually became active again in the last quarter of the year, as there was a significant pent-up demand, helping stores’ sales recover. However, component shortages started to have a meaningful impact on the market.”

The key themes that will shape the Vietnam smartphone market in 2022 include:

1) Continued migration from 2G/3G to 4G/5G mobile phones, resulting in Vietnam having the highest growth in the smartphone market amongst the ASEAN countries in 2022 as smartphone adoption picks pace.

2) Continued migration to 5G smartphones, with 5G smartphone shipments expected to more than double YoY, making up more than a quarter of smartphone shipments in 2022, as more affordable 5G smartphones enter the market, and the telcos move beyond the trial phase into launching commercial 5G services in the country in 2022.

3) A change in the retail landscape as the vendors opt for brand-exclusive stores. The mobile phone market in Vietnam is distinct from the rest of ASEAN as it is dominated by a few major mobile phone chain stores such as the Mobile World and the FPT Shop. This makes it tough for the smaller stores to compete with these companies. These chain stores, on the other hand, differentiate themselves on pre and post purchase services or partner with vendors by opening the brand-exclusive stores.


Vietnam’s largest conglomerate Vingroup officially announced its decision to exit the smartphone market in 2021 and focus on its other priority areas. Vingroup had previously risen to the number three position in the Vietnam smartphone market in 2019, which it maintained in 2020.

Smartphone Company (4Q21) Highlights

Samsung held a market share of 28.7% in the fourth quarter of the year. On an annual basis, Samsung won a bigger share of the smartphone market in 2021 with strong growth in its low-end portfolio. It shipped 5.3 million units, increasing 27.1% YoY, as its share increased to 33.3% in 2021 from 29.3% in 2020. While Samsung has been growing its share in other channels, much of the expansion in 2021 was through retail channels where Samsung started to expand through single-brand stores.

OPPO, at the second slot, accounted for 17.3% share of the smartphone market in the fourth quarter of the year. OPPO’s A95 and A55 made a high contribution to OPPO’s shipments in 4Q21, while the Reno series was also enjoyed well-received.

vivo took the third slot in the last quarter of the year, launching a range of new smartphone models. It held a market share of 16.1%. On annual basis, vivo’s unit shipments grew 29.4% YoY reaching a market share of 11.7% in 2021.

Apple was in the fourth position in 4Q21, shipping 548 thousand units, declining by 1.8% YoY. Despite the supply constraints, its iPhone 13 lineup performed well and was the major volume driver in the fourth quarter of the year as Apple expanded its presence with its retail partners in the country. Apple is expanding its retail presence with single-brand stores such as Apple Authorized Resellers and Apple Premium Resellers run by local partners such as Mobile World and FPT Shop.

Xiaomi’sshare increased to 12.7% in 2021 from 8.3% a year ago, reaching over 2 million units. Its entry-level models, the Redmi 9A/9/9C/9T, were the major volume drivers. The MI 11 had a higher contribution to total Xiaomi’s shipments compared to the Mi 10 series, which had very limited shipments in 2020.


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