Vietnam feverish for Apple’s new phones

By Hai Binh, Thanh Nien News

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Apple CEO Tim Cook speaks during an Apple special event at the Flint Center for the Performing Arts on September 9, 2014 in California. Photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images/AFP Apple CEO Tim Cook speaks during an Apple special event at the Flint Center for the Performing Arts on September 9, 2014 in California. Photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images/AFP

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Days after Apple unveiled its latest smartphone in the US, phone shops in Vietnam have logged orders for thousands of devices that will only arrive later this month at the earliest.
Many electronics shops on Thai Ha Street in downtown Hanoi are still waiting for iPhone 6 and 6 Pluses to arrive, but their staffs are willing to write down the phone numbers of interested customers.
Hopeful buyers must put at least VND1 million (US$47) down in advance and wait at least until September 19, when the international version goes on sale in Hong Kong.
A salesman at an FPT electronics outlet said they would have the phones by the middle of next month and expect to charge more than VND20 million ($944) for the phones. Vietnam's per capita income was $1,890 in 2013, according to the World Bank.
When the phones were unveiled in the US on Tuesday, iShop on the capital’s Ba Trieu Street kicked off a promotion that offered the first people to order the phone a pack of three gifts including a cover, screen protector and external battery pack.
The shop has not released an estimated price.
The Techone chain, which has outlets in both Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City, also offered early buyers of the phones a VND2.6 million promotion package that includes VND1 million in cash, a battery worth VND1 million, a screen protector, a cover and a touch pen.
A representative from Techone said 275 people had registered for the new iPhones at its shops by Wednesday evening.
Another iPhone 6 campaign by major cell phone retailer The Gioi Di Dong (Mobile World) offered 60 percent off to one buyer of the new phone a day and VND1.6 million in cash to ten other customers.
The promotion will continue through the end of October and has won the retailer more than 13,000 iPhone 6 orders.
The international version of the iPhone 6 is being sold in the US at roughly the same price as the previous edition--the iPhone 5S, at $649 for the 16 GB phone, $749 for 64 GB and $849 for 128 GB.
The iPhone 6 Plus with the larger 5.5 inch screen sells for $749, $849 and $949.
Techone and The Gioi Di Dong have announced VND20 million as their lowest price.
Several shopping sites have put out ads offering to ship the new phones directly from the US for VND18-25 million.
One advertisement on 5giay says the phones will be available on September 21, or even the previous night if the customers are excited enough to collect it at the airport.

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