ASEAN KEY DESTINATIONS
Vietnam enjoys smartphone boom
Vietnam has become the region's fastest-growing market for smartphones due to customer upgrades from basic mobilephones to smartphones, according to experts and traders.
A recent report from GfK, one of the world's largest research companies, said that smartphone use in Viet Nam had increased 156 per cent in volume from January to September compared to the same period last year. It surged in value by 113 per cent.
Viet Nam and Thailand are the fastest-growing smartphone markets in the world.
In Thailand, volume increased by 118 per cent, and 114 per cent, in value.
"The increasing affordability of smartphones, particularly in developing markets, is helping many consumers in these countries make the switch from basic phones to their first smartphone," said Gerard Tan, account director for digital technology at Gfk Asia.
Nguyen Duc Tai, general director of The Gioi Di Dong (Mobile World) Joint-Stock Company, said the local smartphone market would continue to boom in coming years.
"This year, about 15 million out of 55 million users have used smartphones. The figure will soon increase to 30 million or 40 million," he said.
Tai told Viet Nam News that this year smartphone sales had exceeded sales of basic mobilephones.
He also said that smartphones accounted for 80 per cent of his company's total sales.
An expert from a research company told Viet Nam News that the smartphone market had developed well but had not reached its peak.
She said that basic phones make about 60 per cent of the market, and smartphones 40 per cent.
Next year, it is expected to be 50-50, she added.
Smartphones have become popular with young people because of the access to games, music, photos and applications.
Moreover, the price of smartphones have fallen. For about US$100, customers can buy a smartphone with many features, Tai said.
The most wanted smartphones are those with large screens that sell under VND10 million ($480). Samsung and Nokia are bestsellers.
GfK said that in the first three quarters of 2013, consumers from Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia, Viet Nam, Cambodia and the Philippines had spent $10.8 billion on nearly 41.5 million smartphones.
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