Vingroup is planning to manufacture around a million self-designed smartphones this year via its affiliate VinSmart, people familiar with the matter told TheElec on Tuesday.
VinSmart was planning to launch two models, one of them called V740, within the year.
The company, which started its smartphone business back in December, 2018, has so far used Chinese original design manufacturers (ODM) for its goods. It has launched 12 different models of smartphones in the past fifteen months.
The decision to design and manufacture its own smartphones came from joint discussions between the Vietnamese government and Vingroup as part of their effort to become technologically independent and increase job creations, the people said.
VinSmart plans to produce 100,000 to 150,000 units of smartphones per month starting in the second half of the year.
Some developers in the company previously worked at Samsung Electronics and LG Electronics, the people said. The development for the smartphones began last year.
South Korean component suppliers from camera modules to glasses were part of the supply chain for the new smartphones, they added. They are showing high interest in the project as VinSmart could potentially become a long-term client of theirs.
The phones will cost between US$100 to US$150, similar to past models launched by VinSmart. It will compete with the Samsung Galaxy M series which is also at that price range.
The company’s smartphone factory at Hoa Lac Hi-Tech Park in Hanoi currently had an annual production capacity of 26 million units, according to the Korea Trade-Investment Promotion Agency (KOTRA). When the plant is complete, it will have annual production capacity of 125 million units.
According to market research firm GfK, VinSmart marked 16.7% market share in the Vietnamese smartphone market in March. This is a 6.2% jump from its share in April a year ago. Meanwhile, Samsung saw its share drop from 50.9% to 30.1% in the same time period.
According IDC, VinSmart moved 16.4 million smartphones last year, holding a maret share of 6.4%.