Local Vietnamese Smartphone Brands Have Only 8% Market Share

According to the latest research from Counterpoint’s Market Monitor service, Vietnam smartphone shipments grew 12% sequentially but remained flat annually in Q3 2017, while the overall handset market (including feature phones) increased by 17% year on year.

Vietnam is one of the key markets for handset brands in the South-East Asia region. Over 30 smartphone players are competing in a rapidly changing competitive landscape. The third quarter saw some dramatic shifts and the expansion of new players in the country. Nokia HMD and iTel, which entered Vietnam at the beginning of the year, have quickly escalated to the #2 and #5 positions in the overall handset rankings and #4 and #5 in the smartphone segment respectively. These brands captured share away from local brands in the smartphone segment, whose collective share fell to single digits (8%) for the first time ever.

Vietnam’s smartphone market is driven by the fast-growing $100-$150 price segment which is contributing to almost third of the shipments. Apart from this the premium smartphone segment (> $400) continues to do well in Vietnam, mainly driven by Samsung and Apple. The success of the premium segment is due to a growing trend of paying for flagship devices on installment schemes at zero interest. Samsung led the premium segment in Q3 2017 with 43% market share followed closely by Apple with 41% market share.

Exhibit 1: Vietnam Smartphone Shipments Market Share – Q3 2017

vietnam market share

Source: Counterpoint Research: Quarterly Market Monitor Q3 2017

Exhibit 2: Vietnam’s Bestselling Smartphone Model Rankings – Q3 2017

smartphone market share q3

Source: Counterpoint Research: Quarterly Market Monitor Q3 2017

Market Summary:

  • Vietnam’s Handset Market grew 17%, but the smartphone market remained flat annually indicating growth in feature phones.
  • Smartphone penetration in terms of shipments reached 51%. Feature phones are still a sizeable market for OEMs to target.
  • The top five brands accounted for almost four-fifths of smartphone shipments in Q3 2017.
  • Local players’ smartphone contribution hit an all-time low of 8%.
  • Samsung continues to lead Vietnam’s smartphone market with a market share of 43%. Vietnam is one of the few countries in the APAC region where Samsung is still enjoying a significant lead over its nearest competitor.
  • However, in the premium segment Samsung leads by a thin margin over Apple, but Apple is expected to lead premium segment in Q4 2017.
  • Vietnam is one of the best performing countries in the SEA region for Apple. It is scaling both its offline and online presence in the country where it currently has 15 Apple authorized stores. However, gray market sales of iPhones continue to be a big challenge for the company to tackle.
  • Samsung & OPPO alone captured 2/3rd of the Vietnam smartphone market during Q3 2017.
  • Oppo is the second largest smartphone brand in the country, capturing 22% of the market. Almost 60% of its sales were driven by its bestselling mid segment model A37.
  • Brands like Vivo are scaling up fast as they increase their portfolio and distribution presence.
  • The entry of Nokia HMD and iTel among top five players in smartphone segment was one of the key trends during the quarter as they ramp up their presence in the sub $150 segment, which was also the fastest growing segment.
  • For Nokia HMD, Nokia 3 was its best-selling device while for iTel it was S11 Plus.
  • Vietnam’s Smartphone market is expected to grow by 10% YoY in CY 2017.

Tarun is a Research Director with Counterpoint Technology Market Research, based out of Gurgaon (near New Delhi). Tarun has 10 years of work experience with a key focus on the evolving mobile device ecosystem with specialties in Emerging Markets. He understands specific mobile industry nuances, helping clients to navigate through the rapidly changing technological trends. As a Telecom Analyst he has been quoted extensively by the leading media platforms. Tarun holds a Post Graduate Diploma in Management, specializing in International Business from the Amity International Business School and is a graduate in Physical Sciences from Jammu University, Jammu in the northern Indian state of Jammu & Kashmir.

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