Petrosetco, the General Services Joint Stock Corporation under Vietnam's state-owned oil and gas group PetroVietnam, will become the official distributor of Samsung mobile phones in Vietnam on Friday.
On Wednesday, a person from a Samsung retail chain in Ho Chi Minh City told news website VnExpress anonymously that Samsung might be the one pulling PSD, the Nokia distributor and Petrosetco subsidiary, to its side.
The retail agent said the South Korean producer has been looking for a distributor to develop its market in the provinces, now that it has established itself at strong retailing chains in Ho Chi Minh City such as Mai Nguyen, The Gioi Di Dong (Mobile World) and Vien Thong A (Telecommunication A).
Mai Trieu Nguyen, director of retail chain Mai Nguyen Luxury Mobile, said Samsung is the top mobile choice in many countries but is still standing second to Nokia in Vietnam.
"Samsung already has very strong products and marketing strategies. So looking for a distributor to reform its retail system in provincial markets is what it can think about," Nguyen said.
Mobile phone retailers said Nokia would not agree to share its distributor with another mobile phone producer, and Petrosetco could have chosen Samsung given its recent production growth, especially in the smart phone section.
A Petrosetco report said its distribution of Nokia smart phones in 2011 was caught in "harsh" competition with Apple, HTC, and Samsung products which run on Android, the more favorable system than Nokia's Symbian, Dau Tu newspaper reported Friday.
Nokia also struggled on the lowcost market segment against products from South Korea, China, Taiwan, and Vietnam's Q-Mobile.
The Finnish producer had issued a statement earlier this month saying that it will end its distribution contract with Petrosetco on August 5, giving more market share to Hanoi-based private telecom provider FPT and Lucky Group, Nokia's main distributor in the Mekong Delta.
But Petrosetco said the contract is effective until the end of this year.
A senior official from the company told Dau Tu newspaper in a Friday report that it has asked Nokia to explain the sudden and unilateral end of contract, but has not received a response.
Phan Cam Ly, communication director for Nokia in Indochina and the Philippines, did not comment upon requests from Dau Tu.
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