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Vietnam’s smartphone brands take different paths on their journey to world market

Mobiistar, Vsmart and Bphone in recent years have been trying to enter the world market, but their stories and results have varied.


Vsmart's products are available in Spain


Nguyen Tu Quang, CEO of BKAV, on March 22 said the first consignment of BPhone has been exported to Europe. BKAV targets a niche market selling security-specialized phones.

Quang, described as an ambitious businessman, has even expressed the hope that a European head of state may use Vietnam’s smartphones in the future.

Prior to that, BKAV affirmed that it had sold BPhones to Dubai and Myanmar.

Vsmart also stated its products are present in Europe and the US.

In fact, BPhone and Vsmart are not the first Vietnamese smartphone brands appearing in the world market. This was done by another brand – Mobiistar.

In May 2018, Ngo Nguyen Kha, CEO of Mobiistar, showed a picture of his partners at an office in India. Kha then said that Mobiistar would set up office in the country.

At that moment, Mobiistar mostly sold low-cost smartphone models with a focus on the camera for selfies.

With moderate capability, at first, the company followed Xiaomi’s way by selling its products on e-commerce channels, competing with strong rivals in the market, including Xiaomi, Oppo and Samsung.

In the domestic market, Mobiistar products were available at retail channels, but the long-lasting smartphone brand was overwhelmed by Chinese brands.

Kha once used the phrase ‘ra di de tro ve’ (leaving to come back) to describe the way Mobiistar penetrateed foreign market and then returned to consolidate its position in Vietnam.

However, in mid-2019, Mobiistar announced its departure from the Indian market because V-Sun, a partner of Mobiistar, declared bankruptcy. And Mobiistar also disappeared from the domestic market.

The difference between Mobiistar and Vsmart and Bphone is that Mobistar is a Vietnamese brand but its products were made overseas, while the latter two are truly Vietnamese as they are manufactured at the factories in Vietnam.

Just four months after making its debut in the domestic market, Vsmart appeared in Spain in March 2019.

In May 2019, Vsmart turned up in Myanmar under the cooperation with local partners and Mytel, belonging to Viettel. In October of the same year, it hit the Russian market through TFN Trading.

Vsmart earlier this year successfully entered the US market. Three models that Vsmart makes for AT&T have been selling at the network operator’s shops and Walmart stores at the price of $39-89.

Vsmart has revealed its plan to manufacture 5G phones for the US market.

BKAV had said in the past that the company might sell BPhone Gold in Dubai, but there has been no further information. 

Hai Dang

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