Budget smartphone sales have risen significantly in the domestic market following the narrowing price gap between mobile phones and smartphones.

Handsets costing 2 million VND to 4 million VND have become more popular. The low-end market, particularly in rural areas, is driving sales growth, traders say.

Chinese and Vietnamese budget smartphones, which offer high-end devices at relatively low prices, have played a key role in the mushrooming growth.

Meanwhile, a few well known brands have introduced affordable models, such as Lumia 525, Nokia X, ASUS Zenfone and Galaxy Trend Plus.

In addition, strong discounts on some high-end models has also helped trigger sales.

According to a representative from The Gioi Di Dong Joint Stock Company, a prominent mobile phone retailer, the sales of its budget smartphones increased by 60 percent in the first half of the year.

Deputy Director of the company, Tran Kinh Doanh, said the smartphone segment in Vietnam was still hot and would develop further.

Meanwhile, Nguyen Hoang Son, a sales representative from OneTouch, an online phone retailer in Hanoi, said more budget smartphones were expected to make their debut by the end of July.

"Many thousands of new students will enrol in August and they are the potential buyers of budget smartphones," he added.

According to GfK, one of the world's largest research companies, Vietnam ranks second among the fastest growing markets for smartphones in Southeast Asia, owing to the popularity of 3G (third generation network) and budget smartphones.

The German company reported that the top three growth markets for smartphones were Indonesia, Vietnam and Thailand.

Meanwhile, the percentage of smartphone sold in Vietnam in the first quarter surpassed sales of ordinary mobiles, reaching 55 percent, the Germany-based market researcher reported.

GfK attributed the fast development of the smartphone market in Vietnam to the increasing popularity of 3G, which according to the Ministry of Information and Communications, covers more than 80 percent of Vietnam's territory.-VNA