Smartphone market of Vietnam expected to pick up speed in 2022

February 11, 2022 | 08:00
Based on an on-year comparison with 2021, Vietnam’s smartphone market is expected to continue to grow in 2022 and become one of the most competitive ones in Southeast Asia.
Smartphone market of Vietnam expected to pick up speed in 2022
Smartphone market of Vietnam in 2021

The Counterpoint Research’s Monthly Vietnam Channel Share Tracker published on February 10 shows, that in 2021, Vietnam’s smartphone shipments increased 15 per cent on-year and in the fourth quarter alone, the figure reported an increase by 104 per cent quarter on-quarter.

After crossing the post-pandemic phase of pent-up demand, smartphones remained in high demand throughout the year, despite market difficulties, including macroeconomic worries, supply chain issues, and the emergence of new COVID-19 variants. The year 2021 also saw Samsung and Apple registering their highest ever shipments in Vietnam.

Commenting on the quarterly performance, senior research analyst Ivan Lam said, “Vietnam’s smartphone market has been dominated by offline channels. COVID-19 forced the government to impose multiple lockdowns, which hugely impacted the mobile phone distribution chain. As a result, shipments in Q3/2021 reached their lowest point in 2021.”

“A few key positive factors drove up the numbers in Q4/2021. First, increased vaccination rates helped offline channels move towards normalcy. Next, Apple’s iPhone 13 and other new launches, some pent-up demand, and the approaching Vietnamese Lunar New Year stimulated purchase activities.

Further, Samsung and Chinese brands managed to resume their supply and logistics activities in Vietnam. Lastly, the country’s major cities such as Ho Chi Minh City released guidelines that required people entering these cities to show a QR code from a mobile app to prove their vaccination status or recovery from COVID-19. This also pushed people to switch to a smartphone or an upgrade,” he said.

Apple was the fastest-growing brand in Q4/2021 in on-year terms. With a hair’s breadth, it surpassed Xiaomi to capture the fourth-highest market share during the quarter. Lam added, “Apple enjoys a good place among Vietnamese consumers. In 2021, Apple enhanced its distribution strategy in Vietnam. It pushed online sales through Lazada Apple Flagship Stores and boosted “mini Apple Stores” by working with retailers, although there are already Apple Zones in Thegiodidong stores and F.Studio in the FPT shops system. Also, in Vietnam, 5G smartphone penetration is increasing gradually, supporting iPhone 13 sales.”

Research director Tarun Pathak said, “Vietnam is one of the most active consumer electronics markets in Southeast Asia, as well as one of the Asian countries with highest internet penetration. Although COVID-19 continued to disrupt the market, the demand was always there. We expect this rebound to continue in 2022.”

“Online channels made up 15 per cent of the total shipments in 2021, growing 8 per cent on-year. It’s not a big jump because the country’s logistics systems and digital payment ecosystem are still in the process of being developed,” Tarun said.

By Kim Oanh

What the stars mean:

★ Poor ★ ★ Promising ★★★ Good ★★★★ Very good ★★★★★ Exceptional