Although Vietnam's mobile phone market has been unable to maintain its previous high growth rate, smartphones continued to be popular last year as vendors launched low-cost models as well as promotions that increased shipments by 75 percent quarter-on-quarter in 2011, according to a recent report from International Data Corporation.

For total mobile-phone shipments, growth last year was 13.6 percent quarter-on-quarter.

With vendors continuing to offer more low-cost smartphones this year, smartphone shipments are expected to maintain an upward trajectory with double-digit growth projected in 2012.

Android smartphones grew 53 percent due to strong performances from Samsung and Sony Ericsson at the end of 2011.

On a full-year basis, the local mobile-phone market has enjoyed 21 percent growth year-on-year. However, local vendors struggled to maintain their market share against stronger international brands in 2011.

Most of the local vendors launched low-cost and dual-SIM feature phones to compete in the market, but the price advantage was not sufficient to offset the larger gap in brand equity.

Nokia leads mobile-phone vendors in the market with a renewed focus on the low-end phone segment. It was able to capture market share in that segment at the expense of local vendors.-VNA