The 3-year journey of Vsmart phones
Vsmart phones have seen milestones that have never been made by any Vietnamese phone company.
VinSmart has just announced its withdrawal from the phone and TV market, ending a period of nearly three years with many successes that were difficult to achieve by not only Vietnamese phone makers but also foreign firms.
What's special about Vsmart's 3-year journey in Vietnam?
Vsmart phones on the shelf of a tech supermarket in Vietnam. (Photo: Hai Dang)
From zero market share at the end of 2018, the Vietnamese phone company Vsmart quickly achieved a market share of over 15% to take third place in Vietnam. It also produced the first smartphone with a camera under the screen in Vietnam, 5G smart phones, and entered many foreign markets more than any previous Vietnamese smartphone brands.
In March 2020, VinSmart phones reached 16.7% of the smartphone market share in Vietnam, according to GfK’s report, ranking third in the local market after Samsung and Oppo. In the past 6-7 years, there were few third-ranked firms with such a large market share.
In Q1 this year, Vsmart held about 9% market share, fairly competing with Apple and many other major phone companies. This achievement will be difficult for any phone manufacturer, especially with a brand that has only been on the market for just over two years.
In September 2020, Vsmart released the Aris Pro model with the front camera hidden under the screen, becoming the first smartphone of this type to be sold in Vietnam. In the world, there are very few products integrating similar technology. The front camera hidden below the screen is a perfect solution for the screen to be fully displayed. Of course, due to the pioneering technology, the image quality from the front camera is not that good.
The Vsmart Aris Pro with a front camera hidden under the screen.
The Vsmart Aris 5G.
Only three months after setting this milestone, Vsmart introduced the Vsmart Aris 5G and 5G base transceiver station, which were completely manufactured in Vietnam. To have these hi-tech products, VinSmart invested tens of millions of dollars to buy patents and develop a research and development team so that its manufacturing line could fully participate in the new 5G ecosystem.
After producing 5G smartphones, VinSmart announced it would bring its products to the US, a market with high requirements for telecommunications technology products. Three models of VinSmart produced for AT&T are sold at AT&T stores and some Walmart supermarkets. The prices for these models range from $39 to $89.
Before officially entering the US market in early 2021, Vsmart was present in Spain, Russia and Myanmar, and is the Vietnamese smartphone brand reaching the most foreign markets.
To achieve these outstanding milestones, VinSmart took a strategic step to show a long-term vision when it acquired a 51% stake in BQ technology company (Spain) in July 2018.
Shortly thereafter, VinSmart hired foreign experts and imported the production line for its factory in Vietnam. Just a few months later, the company released its first smartphones. Vsmart Joy 1 and Active 1 models hit the market in December 2018. Vinsmart was praised to have the fastest time to build factories and produce products.
Active 1 and Joy 1 smartphones were first released in December 2018. (Photo: Hai Dang)
To access the market and increase its market share, the prices for Vsmart phones have been slashed several times. It is said that in the early phase, Vsmart sacrificed short-term profits to get high sales.
Vsmart has launched 19 phone models. Its existing products are priced from VND2 million to less than VND10 million (over $90 to over $400), enough to compete with many other international firms.
VinSmart will continue to manufacture existing smart phones and televisions until the end of the product's life cycle. After that, part of the factory will be used to outsource and the remaining part will be expanded and adjusted to produce new products.
Regarding the products sold to the market, VinSmart has committed to maintain the warranty, repair and care policies until customers no longer use the products. In particular, part of the phone software design department will continue to research to upgrade and update Vsmart phones that have been sold to the market.
Vingroup, Vietnam’s largest private conglomerate, has unveiled plans for its subsidiary VinSmart to halt the manufacturing of televisions and smartphones to concentrate on developing electronic products and other components for VinFast cars.