Vietnamese phone maker VinSmart, a subsidiary of the country’s largest conglomerate Vingroup, is set to sell its first 5G smartphones in the US next year, which comes shortly after the it signed a contract to manufacture 2 million smartphones for an undisclosed US firm in November.
As US telecom carriers including T-Mobile and AT&T are rolling out nationwide 5G networks, Vietnamese handset makers are stepping up to fulfill the surging demand for 4G and 5G phones in a market that is currently dominated by its Chinese counterparts. 70% of smartphones shipped to the US in the second quarter of this year were made in China, according to research firm Canalys.
VinSmart’s new 5G smartphones, which are manufactured in cooperation with Qualcomm, the world’s leading vendor of processors for Android devices and chipmakers, will be sold through sales channels in the US, the firm’s general director Nguyen Thi Hong said in a statement on Tuesday.
“We plan to produce and launch strategic product lines in the third and fourth quarter this year, for example, Qualcomm’s new 5G platforms with many other advanced technologies in terms of sound and image,” said Nguyen Minh Viet, director of VinSmart’s research institute.
In its home country, the handset maker is still awaiting the official launch of 5G mobile services. In November, telecom giants Viettel, Mobifone, and Vietnam Posts and Telecommunications Group received trial licenses to commercially test 5G in Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi, the country’s two largest cities.
VinSmart operates two smartphone factories in the country, where it can produce 130 million units per year, according to a report by Reuters. The smartphone brand is currently available in Russia, Myanmar, and Spain.