Race to produce mid-range smartphone

January 07, 2019 | 17:28
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New launches by giant corporations and newcomers heat up the mid-range smartphone segment.
race to produce mid range smartphone
The market shares of major smartphone brands in Vietnam (per cent)

Vsmart shakes up the smartphone market

Vingroup launched its new smartphone brand called Vsmart focusing on the mid-range and low-end segments, send ripples through the Vietnamese market.

Vsmart is currently the hottest name in the market and has four devices, the Joy 1, Joy 1+, Active 1, and Active 1+.

Active 1+ is equipped with a 6.2 inch edge-to-edge screen, Snapdragon 660, 6GB RAM, 64GB ROM, front and back cameras with a bokeh function, and will be sold for VND6,290,000 ($273.5).

Active 1 has a metal frame, glass back with Snapdragon 660, 4GB RAM, 64GB ROM, dual camera, and a 3100 mAh battery. It will cost VND4,990,000 ($217).

Meanwhile, the low-end smartphone Vsmart Joy 1 runs on a Snapdragon 435, with 3GB of RAM, 32GB of memory, and a 5.5 inch screen. It will cost VND2,490,000 ($108.2). The larger model Vsmart Joy 1+ (Snapdragon 430, 3GB RAM, 32GB memory, 6.2 inch screen) will be a tad more expensive at VND3,390,000 ($147.4).

Vsmart’s rival in the current mid-range segment is brands like:

Nokia 6




Lenovo Moto X4


Samsung Galaxy A7 2018


Honor 8X


Xiaomi Mi 8 Lite


Realme 2 Pro


Huawei Nova 3i


Oppo F9


According to GfK SE (established in 1934 as Gesellschaft für Konsumforschung, "Society for Consumer Research"), there are dozens of brands and smartphones priced around VND5-9 million ($217-391) competing in mid-range segment, which accounts for nearly 30 per cent of the smartphone market.

Meanwhile, IHS Markit Ltd. said that mid-range smartphones price at $150-390 accounted for nearly one-third of phone sales around the world.

Mai Trieu Nguyen, director of Mai Nguyen Luxury Mobile, assessed, “Vsmart has good pricing, compared to the market average, Vsmart devices are 20-30 per cent cheaper.”

General director of Qualcomm Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia, Thieu Phuong Nam said, “I am very impressed by the Vsmart devices’ design and features. With the desire to bring consumers the highest-quality Vietnamese products, reasonable prices, I think, the potential of the Vsmart series is great as they suit the majority of Vietnamese consumers.”

Having the same idea, Le Bao Long, Admin of VOZ Forum also appreciated the Vsmart series. “In terms of appearance, the Vsmart series is quite nice, they have beautiful screens, and for now I have nothing to complain about. In my opinion, Vsmart is very competitively priced.”

According to Bui An, admin of HD Vietnam Forum, the Vsmart series has very good prices. If products stand up to long-term use, they will gain a lot of love from consumers.

Leading the market in 2019

The mid-range segment is the focal investment of technology giants like Samsung, Huawei, Oppo, Nokia, LG, and Xiaomi. GfK’s statistics show that the market share of mobile phones in the VND5-7 million ($217-304) and VND7-10 million ($304-435) range increases due to the launching of more and more products in this segment and the increasing incomes of users.

This price point is enough for companies to integrate good features and beautiful designs, clearly showing the resources of each firm. The smartphone market is on the rise with the upgrade in design together with the explosion of high-end technology.

Darren Chen, chairman of HTC Corporation (Taiwan), said that in 2019 HTC will have a new strategy to increase its market share and improve profit. HTC plans to focus on mid-range and high-end smartphones. HTC will also probably launche its first blockchain smartphone – Exodus 1.

Samsung (Korea) has also just announced integrating fingerprint sensors on its mid-range phones from 2019. This is the most modern type of sensor offering great accuracy and speed.

Xiaomi (China) also confirmed to soon launch a new mid-range smartphone next year that it plans to equip with the latest Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 675.

Vsmart shows great ambition by setting the target to take over 30 per cent of the smartphone segment in two years. The firm also announced launching 10 products in all segments next year, but the centre will likely be the mid-range and low-end segment.

“To increase our foothold in the segment in the upcoming time, the firm needs to improve product quality, integrate artificial intelligence (AI), strengthen hardware configuration, and employ smarter software,” said Angie Wang, research group’s analyst at Gartner's Personal Technologies.

By the producers’ plans, 2019 will be a hot year in mid-range smartphone segment.

By Huu Tuan

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