Foreign smartphone producers continue to promote their Vietnam campaigns, said the Vietnam Investment Review, adding that about 7 million smartphones were sold in the country last year.

In early March, China’s Gionee launched its flagship Elife E7 smartphone line in the Vietnamese market and unveiled that its S5.5 would be available in the country in June.

Correlatively, another brand from China Xiaomi has the goal of selling 40 million smartphones this year.

“I have spent a lot of time meeting with potential partners in South East Asia. We took a business trip to Singapore several weeks ago and will ramp up our presence in this region in the near future,” said Hugo Barra, CEO of Xiaomi global.

Singapore and Vietnam are reportedly the group’s priority targets.

Taiwan-based PC maker ASUS unveiled its latest smartphone line-ups, namely the Zenfone series, which will make their foray into Vietnam next month.

ASUS Vietnam country manager Jeff Lo said product strong points such as design, durability, functionality, energy efficiency and suitable price would make their smartphones appealing to local consumers.

Last year the market welcomed new-comers OPPO, Huawei, and Haier.

Their medium and low-cost smartphones compete fiercely with products by Lenovo, Samsung, Nokia, and HTC, all of which have a well-established presence in the Vietnamese market.

In fact, most major smartphone producers have set up shop in Vietnam.

Technology firms forecast 17 million smartphones will be sold in Vietnam in 2014.

Gerard Tan, GfK Asia’s account director for Digital Technology, claimed 50 percent of consumers in South East Asia use feature phones and this would provide enormous opportunities to both manufactures and retailers.

Imports of cell phones and component parts were valued at 8.05 billion USD in 2013, up 59.6 percent on-year.

Nearly 17 million handsets were sold in Vietnam last year, of which 7 million were smartphones.

Statistics also showed that the smartphone business grew 156 percent last year against 2012, the highest in South East Asia.-VNA