Second generation Vietnamese-built smartphone to hit shelves next month

By Chau An   July 24, 2017 | 08:04 pm PT
If the company spent as much time working on the phone as it did on the invites, customers are in for a treat.

Vietnam's leading cyber security firm Bkav will host the launch of its second generation smartphone, currently known as the Bphone 2, in Hanoi on August 8.

The event will be held at the National Convention Center, the same venue that hosted the launch of the Bphone, Bkav's first smartphone, according to Tien Phong (Vanguard) newspaper.

Over 2,000 invitation letters for the event designed as gilded circuit boards, believed to be based on the new smartphone's real circuit board, have been sent out to users and members of the press, with “Designed by Bkav – Made in Vietnam” printed on the bottom.

The invites also featured the time and date of the event on a watermark that was only visible when the cards themselves were submerged. 

Unlike its predecessor, the new phone will be sold both online and through mobile phone retailer The Gioi Di Dong, according to Thanh Nien (Young People) newspaper.

The Bphone 2 was scheduled for launch last year, but Bkav said it had to delay the event while it was developing new technology.

Last month, a source from the company said it was possible Bkav would have to drop its new smartphone completely due to the difficulties it had faced creating a truly homegrown smartphone.

Bkav debuted the Bphone in May 2015. While initially warmly welcomed, the phone's launch was disappointing to many buyers as it was only available online and the company had to delay delivery four times.

The phone also caused controversy because despite being Vietnamese-made, 30 percent of the phone was manufactured by a Chinese firm.

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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