There is a rather strange paradox in Vietnam’s smartphone market is that while cheap iPhones are storming the international market, they often become difficult items to sell in Vietnam.
The most obvious example of this is the iPhone XR, the world’s best-selling smartphone in 2019 with 46.3 million devices, according to statistics from market research firm Omdia. Since launching in 2018, the $ 600 price of this cheap iPhone has brought 23 million devices to Apple.
But right from the time of landing in Vietnam, this iPhone model has not been well received by users, if not humid compared to other expensive brothers like iPhone XS or XS Max.
Almost every low-cost iPhone suffers from estrangement in Vietnam
The same goes for another budget iPhone, the iPhone 8, launched in 2017. After a slow start, the device became the world’s best-selling smartphone in 2018, but the low-cost iPhone Not very popular in Vietnam. By early 2019, its sluggishness has caused many large phone supermarkets in Vietnam to stop trading this product line.
There are many reasons for this paradox in the Vietnamese iPhone market.
Different tastes of Vietnamese users for the iPhone
For the tastes of Vietnamese users, the iPhone is still considered to represent high-end smartphones with trendy technology. As a result, the most technologically advanced iPhones are often the most sought after, even when they’re often the most expensive.
Meanwhile, the low-cost iPhone like iPhone 8 or iPhone XR have a lot of technology cuts compared to the versions released at the same time. The screen is only LCD with a display quality worse than OLED technology on high-end iPhones.
However, the most important shortage on budget iPhones is the camera. Despite launching in 2017 and 2018, both the iPhone 8 and iPhone XR have only one rear camera – when photography technology is one of the top concerns of users, this device is one of the minus points. The biggest of these affordable iPhones.
Improvements in camera technology is probably one of the factors that helped iPhone 11 escape the gloomy fate in Vietnam as of its predecessor iPhone XR. Surveys in Vietnam market at the end of 2019 showed that iPhone 11 has sales that surpassed that of iPhone 11 Pro. Compared to the more advanced Pro version, the iPhone 11 has a large enough screen, though still using LCD technology, and is equipped with dual cameras, which meet the needs of the majority of iPhone users.
This dual camera cluster probably saved the iPhone 11 from a gloomy fate like its predecessor.
And most importantly, it’s quite cheap compared to the iPhone 11 Pro. Currently, while iPhone 11 is usually sold at prices ranging from 17 million to nearly 19 million, iPhone 11 Pro is priced from over 22 million to 27 million.
iPhone “cheap” but not cheap
Selling price is also another factor that makes “cheap” iPhone models in Vietnam. Although significantly cheaper than the high-end iPhone versions released at the same time, cheap iPhones are priced much more expensive than Android smartphones with the same configuration. Even at the same price of iPhone 8 or iPhone XR in Vietnam, users can buy Android smartphones with more advanced configuration and technology.
iPhone 11 Pro Max, the most expensive device line is hunted to the point of sold out in Vietnam.
Even at the end of 2018, when the iPhone XR in Vietnam cost approximately 20 million VND, Vietnamese users turned to buy the iPhone X with the same price, despite the older processor chip as well as was killed by Apple. At the same time, almost every Android smartphone has a dual camera, even at the same price, some Android devices have up to 3 cameras.
New Apple services are useless in Vietnam
But perhaps the most important factor that makes the low-cost iPhone in Vietnam lies in Apple’s strategy for these devices. Not only are they aimed at increasing sales, low-cost iPhones are also a door for universal users to gain access to paid services in the Apple ecosystem – a new direction in the company’s revenue.
Nearly every new Apple service, including Arcade game subscription, Apple TV + online TV, Apple News + news or Apple Pay e-wallet, and Apple Card credit card, has no martial arts land in Vietnam. due to specific content and language. There is no need for new Apple services, Vietnamese users have almost no reason to buy cheap iPhone otherwise it is less competitive in technology and price.
So far, the paradox of the Vietnamese iPhone market has been proved once again by the iPhone SE 2020. While this device is a brilliant success for Apple with 26% of sales coming from Android users. switch – the conversion rate is much higher than other Apple iPhones.
However, this device continues to witness indifference from Vietnamese users as cheap devices before. Almost like an iPhone 8 with a new processor, the iPhone SE 2020 is only equipped with a small LCD screen, a single camera and a poor battery. These factors have caused the iPhone SE 2020 to quickly lose points in the eyes of Vietnamese users when looking for a new smartphone and falling into a sluggish situation.