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|Vietnam's new campaign is expected to heat up the manufacturing of low-cost smartphones|
Minister of Information and Communication Nguyen Manh Hung has announced that in order to realise the target of phasing out the 2G mobile network, the ministry will roll out a campaign promoting cheap Vietnamese-branded smartphones. Accordingly, the ministry will encourage manufacturers to produce smartphones for a retail price of $45-50.
Besides, telecommunication service providers will subsidise the production value of each device with $10 and the developers of pre-installed applications on these smartphones will also chip in with $1 after each application. Thus, with the plan to include 10 pre-installed apps, each smartphone will be subsidised a total of $20, bringing down the final selling price to about VND500,000 ($21.74) each.
Vietnamese companies have come out with a series of phones that are mostly cheaper than Android models. The QPhone and BPhone were among the first, quickly followed by Masstel and Mobiistar devices.
Besides, Vingroup launched its new smartphone brand called Vsmart, focusing on the mid- and low-end segments, sending 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+.
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.
Some distributors also think that Samsung, Oppo, Motorola, HTC, and Microsoft still make low-cost products to satisfy demand, but they will give them up because the models cannot bring high profits. However, after this campaign is implemented, low-cost smartphone manufacturing may bounce back.