Vietnamese buy more expensive mobile phones amid slump

TN News

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Despite a slow economy and slumping mobile market, Vietnamese people are switching to more expensive phones, according to the latest statistics from the Ministry of Industry and Trade.

The statistics reported a decrease in the number of imported mobile phones, but their values were on increase.

A report on VnExpress Tuesday quoted the report as saying that 1.19 million mobile phones were imported into Vietnam last month, a decrease of 18 percent year on year.

However, their value -- US$63.14 million in total -- increased by nine percent.

Over the first six months, 6.26 million phones were brought into Vietnam, with a total value of $306.4 million, according to the statistics.

The figures have showed that imported mobile phone prices are rising, the ministry was quoted as saying.

In the meantime, retailers said the trend was in line with the current sale of smartphones, especially high-end ones, which are still selling well, although the mobile phone market has been sluggish since the beginning of this year, the news website reported.

In fact, the International Data Corporation (IDC) found earlier that smartphones accounted for 13 percent of mobile phones distributed in Vietnam over the first quarter, which was higher than the 9.6 percent recorded for the whole year in 2011.

Vo Le Tam Thanh, senior market analyst for Client Devices Research at IDC Vietnam, told VnExpress that smartphones would probably account for 15 percent of the number of phones sold in Vietnam this year.

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According to IDC Vietnam statistics, the Android platform has taken up 79 percent of the Vietnamese smartphone market.

"Android has made rapid developments because it is chosen by many mobile phone makers," Thanh said. "However, the platform will surely face many challenges from other opponents with strong potential like Windows Phone and others."

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