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Smartphone sales on a rise in Q2/2013: report

Smartphone sales on a rise in Q2/2013: report

Sunday, September 08, 2013, 16:00 GMT+7

Smartphone sales in Vietnam may eclipse the sales of feature phone in the second quarter of this year as shown by recent data on the total number of mobile phones shipped to Vietnam in the period, according to a recent report.

Among 5.8 million mobile phones shipped to Vietnam in the period, smartphone shipments accounted for 32.7 percent, a noticeable 14.7 percent quarter-on-quarter increase, while feature phone shipments contracted 25.8 percent quarter-on-quarter, according to a report conducted by IDC Vietnam.

The contract was caused by aggressive shipments of low-cost smartphones, said IDC’s Vietnam Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker.

“While a number of flagship smartphone models introduced last quarter gave the Vietnam smartphone market a small boost, it was primarily mass shipments of budget smartphones that made the biggest contribution,” said the report.

“Homegrown brands have proved a key factor to sparking demand for smartphones in both urban and rural areas of Vietnam, especially for sub-$100 handsets,” says Vo Le Tam Thanh, senior market analyst of Mobile Devices at IDC Vietnam.

"We expect these local vendors to continue to do very well outside of tier 1 cities, but they will certainly run into difficulties competing with strong international brands like Nokia and Samsung which are currently also focused on the entry-level smartphone market," he added.

The number of Windows Phone 8-run devices made strong gains in the Vietnamese smartphone market, by posting a growth rate in Q2 2013 of 119 percent compared to the previous quarter.

While this growth comes off a small base compared to Android, Windows Phone has risen from 6 percent operating system (OS) share in Q2/2012 to 15 percent OS share in Q2/2013, largely from the local strength of the Nokia brand but also Microsoft’s investment in the local developer community.

"The strong uptake of Nokia’s Lumia 520 has really helped Windows Phone 8 to drive Vietnam’s smartphone market,” said said Daniel Pang, ASEAN Research Manager for Client Devices at IDC Asia/Pacific.

“If Nokia can maintain a strong emerging market portfolio, it may be able to continue to differentiate itself from the mass of low-cost vendors,” he said.

Inevitable trend

The data offered by the IDC report has met a recent report from Norway-based Opera Software, the maker of Opera Mini web browser for smartphone and tablets.

From July 2012, the number of Opera Mini users on smartphones has increased 142 percent year on year. The rapid growth of Android-run devices has taken the mobile OS platforms to the second largest Opera Mini user community in Vietnam as of July 2013.

The users of the web browser on Android-run devices in Vietnam has increased 211 percent, and the number Android web page views increased 465 percent over the same period in 2012, according to the latest data from Opera Software.

Moreover, the number of Opera Mini users in Vietnam was the seventeenth largest in the world, and the fourth in Asia, after India, Indonesia and China.

The latest data show that our use of the Vietnam Opera Mini on Android has grown 211 percent and the number of views on the Android website increased 465  percent over the same period last year.

Also in the new report, Opera Software found that those surfing the Internet using Opera Mini primarily use budget smart phones, worth mostly sub-$200 (VND 4 million) each.

In particular, Samsung-made smartphones are the most popular Android phones for Opera Mini users in Vietnam with 27 percent market share.

Globally, IDC believes that smartphone vendors will ship a total of 918.6 million smartphones in 2013, up 27.2 percent from the 722.4 million units shipped in 2012.

From there, shipment volumes will grow at a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 16 percent before reaching a total of 1.5 billion units shipped in 2017, the final year of our forecast.

"Demand for smartphones is expected to be strong throughout our forecast period, and increased selection from vendors and platforms will provide an array of choices and decisions for all in the ecosystem," said Ramon Llamas, research manager with IDC's Mobile Phones practice.

"We expect Android and Apple iOS to stay out front at number 1 and number 2, respectively.”

“The race for number 3 between BlackBerry and Windows Phone will bear close observation as BB10 launches and Windows Phone gains greater salience in the market. Finally, Linux will get more attention than ever this year as multiple variations get set to launch."

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