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Nokia phones still popular with consumers in Vietnam following Microsoft buyout: retailers

Friday, February 06, 2015, 10:29 GMT+7
Nokia phones still popular with consumers in Vietnam following Microsoft buyout: retailers
A man holds a Nokia X smartphone as he poses in a mobile phone store in Ho Chi Minh City.

Mobile phones that bear the erstwhile Nokia brand name are still among the bestselling devices in Vietnam in terms of sales volume, whereas Samsung handsets take the lead when it comes to sales value, according to local retailers.

>> An audio version of the story is available here

In November 2014, Microsoft Corp dropped the Nokia name when rolling out its Lumia 535 smartphone, only seven months after its US$7.2 billion deal to buy the Finnish firm’s handset business.

Still, Nokia phones are enjoying popularity in Vietnam mostly because of their affordable prices, The Saigon Times Online reported on Wednesday.

Upon the April buyout, Nokia continued as a networks, mapping and technology licensing company, according to Reuters.

Nokia handsets were continually among the top ten most-sold products at The Gioi Di Dong, a leading Vietnamese mobile products retailer, in the final months of last year.

In December alone, four Nokia models, the Lumia 530, 535, 630 and 730, were on the list of bestselling smartphones at The Gioi Di Dong stores, according to The Saigon Times Online.

At FPT Shop stores operated by local firm FPT, Nokia/Microsoft Mobile phones also account for five of the top ten most-sold devices. The products include three feature phone models, namely the Nokia 105, 106 and 206.

The Saigon Times Online cited several market research reports while saying that in 2014 Nokia was the market leader in terms of number of devices sold, while Samsung is the No.1 in terms of revenue.

Nokia has many affordable feature phones, whereas the world’s largest smartphone maker enjoys strong sales from its medium and top-end segments.

The Nokia 105, for instance, is available for only VND430,000 ($20.04), whereas a Samsung Galaxy S5 now fetches around VND10 million ($466).

Nokia and Samsung collectively account for around 60 percent of Vietnam’s mobile phone market, according to the Ho Chi Minh City-based newswire.

The two, however, began facing harsh competition from growing players such as Asus, Oppo, and LG in the last quarter of 2014.

Sales of Vietnamese brands such as Mobiistar and Q-Mobile have also begun to improve.

Mobiistar entered the hi-end smartphone segment last year with its Mobiistar Prime 558, and managed to enter the top five brands with the highest sales at FPT Shop, besides Nokia, Samsung, Apple, and China’s Oppo.

Worldwide mobile phone sales to end users totaled 455.8 million units in the third quarter of 2014 and were flat compared to the same period in 2013, according to information technology research and advisory company Gartner.

Samsung remained the largest vendor with 73.21 million units sold in that quarter, followed by Apple with 38.18 million, and China’s Huawei with 15.93 million.

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