Motorola Mobility, an erstwhile American phone maker, has staged an official comeback to Vietnam after nearly four years, with five of its latest smartphone models putting on sale in a market dominated by Samsung and Apple products.
Motorola Mobility, now a subsidiary of the Chinese personal computer and mobile device maker Lenovo, held a product launch ceremony in Ho Chi Minh City on Wednesday to showcase its Moto X, X Play, X Style, G and E handsets.
The Android-based Razr, released in December 2011, was arguably the last Motorola product to be officially distributed in Vietnam before the company neglected the Southeast Asian country.
Several other Motorola devices were still available in Vietnam after the Razr phone but all of them were unofficially imported from other markets, according to tech website ICTNews.
The disappearance of Motorola handsets from the Vietnamese market came after Motorola Mobility was acquired by Google in a $12.5 billion deal in August 2011.
The acquisition enabled Google to obtain more than 20,000 mobile patents from Motorola, but the U.S. tech titan only took short-lived ownership of the company.
In January 2014 Google announced the sale of Motorola Mobility to Lenovo for $2.91 billion, with the Chinese firm revealing that the acquisition would pave the way for it to enter the U.S. smartphone market.
Lenovo has also exerted effort to bring the Motorola brand back to the Asia-Pacific region following the deal.
Vietnam is the first Southeast Asian market Lenovo chose to introduce the flagship Moto X, thanks to the country’s rapidly growing smartphone market, Dillon Ye, vice president of smartphone sales in Asia Pacific with Lenovo, said at the ceremony.
Ye said in a separate interview with ICTNews that Motorola does not consider any smartphone maker its rival in Vietnam.
The company also sets no ranking target and will only focus on product development and customer service, Ye asserted.
Motorola has been absent from Vietnam for years so intensive marketing campaigns are essential to draw customers’ attention to its comeback, he said.
Samsung, the world’s top smartphone maker, remained the market leader by sales volume in Vietnam, with a market share of 30 percent in the second quarter of this year, according to U.S. market research firm International Data Corporation.
The South Korean company also led the market by sales value, with a 36 percent market share, followed by Apple, which grabbed 24 percent of the market.
The Vietnamese smartphone market is valued at $2.5 billion with an expected growth rate of 35 percent in 2015, John Sculley, former chief executive officer of Apple, told Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper in September.
As of the end of 2014, there had been 22 million smartphone users in Vietnam, according to different statistics.