Vietnam mobile phone sales thrive despite inflation

Sep 12, 2011. Led by strong smartphone growth, country’s mobile market continues to expand as consumers seem undeterred by rising cost of living, reveals new report.

Smartphone and feature phone sales in Vietnam increased by 27 percent in unit shipment and 21 percent in value in the first seven months of 2011, despite cutbacks in general consumer spending, reveals a new report released Monday by GfK Asia.

The research firm noted that accelerating inflation had affected Vietnam’s economy since the beginning of the year and increased the country’s cost of living. However, the mobile phone sector continued to thrive under these economic conditions, it added.

GfK saw declined sales across various market segments it tracked including IT, home appliances and consumer electronics, but the mobile phone sector remained unaffected and instead, enjoyed continued growth, said Van Tran Khoa, general manager of GfK Vietnam.

Even as prices of basic living necessities such as food and fuel increased, Vietnamese consumers continued to splurge on the latest phone technology, the analyst said.

The report noted that the average price of a smartphone was at US$300, five times the price of a feature phone which averaged at US$66. Overall, 1 in 10 mobile phones purchased in 2011 was a smartphone and its share in the overall market grew by 10 percent to 34 percent.

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