Despite pandemic, iPhone sales double in Vietnam

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iPhone sales in Vietnam exploded in 2021, although Apple ranked 5th in terms of market share.

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Market share of smartphone manufacturers in Vietnam in 2021. Photo: Counterpoint Research.

According to statistics from the research firm Counterpoint Research, Apple was the fastest growing smartphone brand in Vietnam in 2021, with a growth rate of 119% compared to 2020.

Counterpoint Research said that the demand for smartphones in 2021 was high even though the market faced supply chain difficulties and concerns about new strains of covid.

In the fourth quarter of 2021, Samsung was the largest smartphone company in Vietnam with a market share of 28%, and its sales increased 14% year on year. Vivo ranked second with a market share of 18%, and sales up by 46%.

Including the OnePlus brand, Oppo’s smartphone sales in the fourth quarter of 2021 ranked third with a market share of 17%. In fourth place was Apple with a market share of 11%, and sales increased by up to 93%.

Xiaomi is the 5th largest smartphone company with a 11% of market share (including Poco and Redmi brands). Meanwhile, Realme ranked 6th with a market share of 8%, sales up by 21%. The remaining firms held a combined market share of 4%.

Regarding the reason why Apple’s sales in Vietnam surpassed Xiaomi in the fourth quarter of 2021, Mr. Ivan Lam, an analyst at Counterpoint Research, said that Apple has had a place in the hearts of Vietnamese users.

According to Mr. Lam, Apple has stronger distribution strategies such as promoting e-commerce sales, and opening Mono Store in cooperation with Vietnamese retailers. In addition, the appearance of many 5G smartphones also stimulated sales of the iPhone 13 series.

For 2021, smartphone sales in Vietnam grew by 7% compared to 2020. Samsung still held the highest market share (34%) with a growth of 6%. The next positions belonged to Oppo (market share 19%), Xiaomi (13%), Vivo (11%), Apple (9%), Realme (6%) and the rest (8%). Apple had the largest sales growth, reaching 119% compared to 2020.

Ranked second in terms of market share, Oppo’s smartphone sales decreased by 6% compared to 2020. According to analyst Glen Cardoza of Counterpoint Research, the company lacked 4G chips, heavily affected as direct sales channels were shut down due to social distancing in the second and third quarters of 2021. However, there were signs of improvement in the last three months of the year when Oppo’s sales increased by 88% compared to the previous quarter.

Mr. Lam said that offline sales channels still dominated in 2021, while online channels accounted for only 15% of total sales.

Explaining why Apple and Samsung opened branded stores in Vietnam last year, Mr. Glen Cardoza said that the traditional retail market could still expand, while online sales had reached its limit. The online retail market in Vietnam has grown but not as much as in other countries. That’s why brands still attach importance to brick-and-mortar stores.

“Vietnam is one of the most dynamic consumer electronics markets in Southeast Asia, as well as one of the Asian countries with the highest internet usage. Although the Covid-19 pandemic continues to affect the market, demand remains unchanged. We expect this recovery to continue in 2022,” said Tarun Pathak, Research Director at Counterpoint Research.

Hai Dang

iPhone is in the group of smartphones that bring in the highest revenue for Vietnamese retailers.

The market for “hand-carried” iPhones in Vietnam has been shrinking in the past two years, especially after the launch of Apple-authorized stores.

Vietnam’s big retailer Mobile World has announced that its TopZone chain will sell Apple products only.

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