Cut off: Tech firm signals death of Vietnamese-built smartphone

By Chau An   June 27, 2017 | 02:29 am PT
Cut off: Tech firm signals death of Vietnamese-built smartphone
Workers pack Bphone, the first homegrown smartphone of Vietnam, at a factory of BKAV. Photo by VnExpress
Its producer says an ambitious plan to create a second Vietnamese smartphone may be out of reach.

Vietnam’s leading cyber security firm BKAV says it is unsure whether or not it will produce a second smartphone after the launch of its first one in 2015.

The Bphone 2 should have appeared on the market last year, but BKAV said it had to delay the launch while it was developing new technology.

A source from the company said it is possible that BKAV will have to drop its new smartphone due to the difficulties it has faced creating a truly homegrown smartphone.

BKAV has invested heavily over the past six years trying to create the first Vietnamese smartphone.

The company will make a final decision on the fate of its second smartphone soon, the source revealed.

Speaking to VnExpress, CEO Nguyen Tu Quang confirmed the difficulties his company has faced building the Bphone 2, but he shared no further information about upcoming plans.

Back in 2015, BKAV’s vice chairman Bach Thanh Le told local media that the company had hired a Chinese firm to manufacture 30 percent of the phone, which currently costs VND11 million ($480) for the 16GB version

CEO Quang also said he hoped the product could compete against the iPhone 6 and Galaxy S6 in a market where the number of smartphone users is rising rapidly.

In its 2017 report, Statista, a market research firm based in Germany, said the number of smartphone users in Vietnam stands at 28.5 million, or 30 percent of the country’s population. It predicts that will rise to 40 percent by 2021.

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