HiPT has abandoned its mobile phone Hi-Mobile just after one year of developing the brand. CMC Group has not made any formal statements, but its BlueFone is nearly dead.
The short life expectancy of Vietnamese mobile phone brands
One year ago, in January 2011, HiPT cherished a high hope when it jumped into the mobile phone market, which was then relatively profitable.
However, the plan by HiPT to conquer the mobile phone market has failed completely just after a short period of implementation.
The document sent to the State Securities Commission (SSC) signed by Deputy General Director of HiPT Group Dang Minh Duc dated August 3, 2012, stated that HiPT Mobile, which makes research and develops mobile devices Hi-Mobile, has been transferred from HiPT to a company with unfamiliar name – Hanoi Belico Distribution Company Ltd.
When asked why HiPT does not continue developing Hi-Mobile brand, HiPT simply said that HiPT has decided to change its business strategy after one year of joining the market. HiPT would not develop mobile device products to gather strength on other core business fields.
“The new owner of Hi-Mobile would take over all the responsibilities for the mobile phone products sold on the market which are still in the warranty period,” an executive of HiPT said.
Sources have said that another Vietnamese mobile phone brand, which was also brought into the world in January 2011 – BlueFone – has also fallen into oblivion. CMC, the father of BlueFone brand, has quietly decided to stop developing the brand.
“CMC has not declared the death of BlueFone, but it has let the brand “drift into the past,” an expert said, stressing that it is not a surprise at all.
More manufacturers would be dead in 2012
The years 2009 and 2010 were considered the golden age for Vietnamese mobile phone manufacturers, when a series of models appeared on the domestic market, including Q-Mobile, FPT Mobile, Mobistar, Mobel, Hi-Mobile, BlueFone, and Hanel Mobile.
Most of the models targeted the low cost product market segment, which the manufacturers believed had a lot of potential clients. Especially, the mobile phone products allow people to use different simcards of different mobile network operators. CMC’s BlueFone brand, for example, offered the models with four simcards, or three simcards like the mobile phone models sourced from China.
Nearly ten Vietnamese mobile phone brands jumped into the market, competing with each other and with foreign brands.
However, the market became saturated in mid-2012, sooner than previously expected. Q-Mobile, which was once a very well-known Vietnamese mobile phone brand, has also fallen into oblivion. The owner of the brand has recently shifted to make low cost smart phones to earn its living. Some of its smart phone models have been launched into the market recently with the retail prices of 1,5-3 million dong.
The current market conditions do not support the existence and development of Vietnamese brand products. Big market survey firms all say that the current economic difficulties and the weak demand have led to the sharp falls in the mobile phone sales recently. Retailers all have reported the 30 percent decrease in the sales of mobile phone products in districts 1 and 2.
Domestic mobile phone manufacturers have been relying on the low cost market segment and targeting low income earners. However, low income earners prove to be the biggest sufferers in the economic recession, therefore, they would not spend money on luxurious products like mobile phones.
Vo Le Tam Thanh, an analyst of IDC Vietnam, said that a lot of Vietnamese and Chinese brands have quit the Vietnamese market, and that more brands would disappear from the market in 2012.
Source: Buu Dien/ VNN
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