Vietnamese technology groups have not given up on a plan to make Vietnamese-brand smartphones, and have announced plans to make phones not only for the low-end market segment, as they have traditionally done, but also for customers who buys phones for 5 million VND (about 236 USD) and under, according to an article published on the English language news portal VietNamNet Bridge.

Mobiistar earlier this month unexpectedly marketed a smartphone model with 8-core, an impressive design and a manufacturer’s suggested retail price under 5 million VND, far lower than prices of similar products from other brands.

Meanwhile, sources said Q-mobile has joined hands with the US technology giant Microsoft in a plan to make low-cost smartphones running on the Windows Phone operating system for the domestic market, the news portal added.

Analysts have noted that the two Vietnamese companies Mobiistar and Q-mobile are making their move as many giant electronic groups are now marching towards the low-cost smartphone market segment.

Samsung is one of the giants eyeing the low-cost market segment. Its Galaxy V model, designed specifically for the Vietnamese market, has a low selling price of 2.3 million VND.

With many integrated features and a strong brand, Galaxy V immediately became a formidable rival to all key smartphone models marketed by Mobiistar and Q-mobile.

Prior to Galaxy V, Asus launched the Zenphone 4 model, which has strong configurations and a selling price less than 3 million VND. The phone was a hot item in the market.

Earlier this year, Sony marketed Xperia E1, priced at approximately 3 million VND. This is considered the “trump card” of the Japanese electronics manufacturer in its competition with Vietnamese low-cost smartphone manufacturers.

For a long time, low-cost smartphones have been the “playing field” for Vietnamese manufacturers, because foreign giants only focused on the high-end market segment.

Smartphone models with selling prices below 2 million VND have been the main source of phone revenue for Q-mobile, which owns two brands, Q-mobile and Q-Smart.

Meanwhile, Mobile Star, which owns Mobiistar brand, has been doing well with products priced less than 3 million VND.

Established in 2008, Q-mobile experienced prosperous days from 2008 to 2010 thanks to a good strategy that focused on 2-simcard models and then on low-cost Android-based smartphones priced from 1-3 million VND, targeting customers who were just beginning to use smartphones.

Q-mobile plans to continue to target the same clients when it begins working with Microsoft to make Windows Phone-based smartphones.

Nguyen Quang Minh, CEO of Q-mobile, believes that there are still great opportunities for the manufacturer in Vietnam, where Windows Phone is used on only 24 percent of mobile devices sold.

The manufacturer plans to sell 300,000 Windows Phone-run smartphone products in 2015.

Mobiistar has also decided to join hands with some tech giants, but it has a different plan. The company is well known for its 1-3 million VND products, but its latest launching of an 8-core Prime 508 model priced at about 5 million VND showed that the manufacturer plans to aim for the higher market segment, analysts have said.

To make the high-end model, Mobiistar has worked with many famous technology groups. The model has a Taiwanese MediaTek 8-core chip, Sony’s camera sensor, Dragon Trail's force glass for the front, and Gorilla Glass 3 force glass for the back.

It has also worked with Norwegian Opera Software to install Opera Max in Prime 508, which allows it to save data when using 3G.-VNA