Vietnam's smartphone shipments increased by 15% YoY, and 104% QoQ in the fourth quarter of 2021, according to Counterpoint Research.
Vietnam’s smartphone shipments increased by 15% year-on-year (YoY) and 104% quarter-on-quarter (QoQ) in the fourth quarter of 2021, according to Counterpoint Technology Market Research’s Monthly Vietnam Channel Share Tracker.
After crossing the post-pandemic phase of pent-up demand, smartphones remained in high demand throughout the year, despite the market facing many difficulties, including macroeconomic worries, supply chain issues and the emergence of new COVID-19 variants. The year 2021 also saw Samsung Electronics and Apple Inc. registering their highest ever shipments in Vietnam.
Top OEMs’ Market Share in Vietnam, Q4 2020 vs Q4 2021
“Vietnam’s smartphone market has been dominated by offline channels. COVID-19 forced the government to impose multiple lockdowns, which hugely impacted the mobile phone distribution chain. As a result, shipments in Q3 2021 reached their lowest point in 2021. A few key positive factors drove up the numbers in Q4 2021,” said Senior Research Analyst Ivan Lam. “First, increasing vaccination rates helped offline channels move towards normalcy. Second, Apple’s iPhone 13 and other new launches, some pent-up demand and the approaching Vietnamese Lunar New Year stimulated purchase activities. Third, Samsung and Chinese brands managed to resume their supply and logistics activities in Vietnam. Lastly, the country’s major cities such as Ho Chi Minh City released guidelines that required people entering these cities to show a QR code from a mobile app to prove their vaccination status or recovery from COVID-19. This also pushed people to switch to a smartphone or an upgrade.”
Apple was the fastest growing brand in Q4 2021 in YoY terms. With a hair’s breadth, it surpassed Xiaomi to capture the fourth highest market share during the quarter.
Lam added, “Apple enjoys a good place among Vietnamese consumers. In 2021, Apple enhanced its distribution strategy in Vietnam. It pushed online sales through Lazada Apple Flagship Stores and boosted ‘mini Apple Stores’ by working with retailers, although there are already Apple Zones in Thegiodidong stores and F.Studio in the FPT shops system. Also, in Vietnam, 5G smartphone penetration is increasing gradually, supporting iPhone 13 sales.”
Vietnam Smartphone Shipment Share, 2020 vs 2021
Vietnam’s smartphone shipments grew 7% YoY in 2021. Research Director Tarun Pathak said, “Vietnam is one of the most active consumer electronics markets in Southeast Asia, as well as one of the Asian countries with highest internet penetration. Although COVID-19 continued to disrupt the market, the demand was always there. We expect this rebound to continue in 2022.”
Apple showed the highest YoY growth in 2021 at 119%, followed by vivo at 24% and Xiaomi at 19%. Although OPPO (including OnePlus) ranked second in terms of market share in 2021, its growth declined 6% YoY during the year.
“OPPO was hugely impacted by the COVID-19 lockdowns in Q2 and Q3 because its main strength is offline channels. Also, OPPO experienced a shortage of 4G SoCs. However, it bounced back in Q4, showing 88% QoQ growth. We see OPPO showing stable performance in 2022,” said Senior Research Analyst Glen Cardoza.
Online channels made up 15% of the total shipments in 2021, growing 8% YoY. It’s not a big jump because the country’s logistics systems and digital payment ecosystem are still in the process of being developed.
Despite all difficulties, Vietnam’s smartphone market is expected to continue to grow in 2022 and be one of the most competitive markets in Southeast Asia.