Surrounded by genuine stores
The market for selling portable iPhones in the past two years has been shrinking, and recently has been further affected by the introduction of Apple-authorized genuine store models.
A TopZone store is about to open in Ho Chi Minh City. (Photo: Hai Dang)
Most recently, Mobile World jumped in to open the TopZone chain, which only specializes in selling Apple products. This retailer opened the first 4 stores in the country’s two largest cities, then plans to open a total of 60 more stores in the first quarter of 2022.
This is a model backed by Apple, showing that the company clearly shows its desire to have a clearer presence in Vietnam. Mobile World’s TopZone is AAR (Apple Authorized Retailer) and APR (Apple Premium Retailer) stores.
In the past, AAR stores were often combined with supermarkets that retailed technology goods of many different brands. Only APR stores are set up specifically to sell Apple products, but the number of these stores is very small in Vietnam, most notably FPT’s F.Studio chain and an eDigi store.
However, this year, Apple has joined hands with Mobile World to launch APR and AAR chains with its own brand, independent of retailers. Before that, some ShopDunk stores also followed this model.
Not only increasing its presence with independent stores, Apple also added more authorized retailers in Vietnam this year. Specifically, Minh Tuan Mobile chain recently officially joined the AAR group of stores specializing in selling genuine Apple products.
Last year, the chain of more than 30 Mobile Viet stores also received certification from the iPhone manufacturer to become an authorized reseller.
The two retail chains mentioned above a few years ago also lived on portable iPhone sources, but then worked with Apple to become its official seller.
The fact that large-scale chains have just switched to genuine sales has a significant impact on the portable iPhone market. This move, on the one hand, encourages customers to buy officially distributed products, on the other hand, it also makes small shops change their minds in choosing the source of goods for distribution.
The above impact, combined with the appearance of new APR and AAR store models, makes small retail stores selling portable iPhones more isolated.
Portable iPhone is affected by all sides
Along with strengthening the presence of authorized stores, Apple is also strong with iPhone products sold in Vietnam without official distributors.
Specifically, in June this year, a series of stalls on e-commerce platforms specializing in selling locked iPhones and iPhones of unknown origin were hidden.
Previously, in 2017, Apple also hired a lawyer to send a request to phone stores to remove the logo image used illegally, making it easy for customers to mistakenly believe that these stores are authorized by Apple.
However, an important milestone that creates a turning point in the portable market is Decree No. 98/2020/ND-CP, which states that individuals trading in smuggled goods will be fined from VND 500,000 to VND 50 million, depending on the value of smuggled goods; Organizations violating the trade in contraband will be fined from 1 million VND to 100 million VND.
This decree appeared exactly 1 year ago, causing many big phone stores to hesitate in importing goods, and at the same time creating a wave of switching to selling genuine goods.
In addition to the aforementioned strategies, Apple also does not forget to change user behavior from the most practical things. Realizing that the strength of hand-carried goods is cheap and early delivery in Vietnam, the company has changed this in the last two years.
This year, the iPhone 13 series officially opened for sale in the country on October 22, less than a month after opening for sale in developed markets. Last year, the time difference was two months. Previously, the waiting time could be longer, creating conditions for portable stores to import goods for sale.
Along with that, the price policy is also adjusted. Genuine iPhone from the 12th generation has many models cheaper than portable prices. This year, the official distribution of iPhone 13 is also several million dong cheaper than portable goods depending on the model.
Not to mention, Covid-19 caused problems with the transportation system. The hand-carried businesses are not officially supported, so it is difficult to import goods, making goods scarce and more expensive.
The above subjective and objective reasons show the gradual shrinking of the portable iPhone market in Vietnam. In the coming time, the group of shops selling handmade goods will surely become more and more sparse because users have formed the habit of buying genuine goods.