The iPhone5 will soon hit Apple Stores and authorized resellers in 54 countries across the world. In Asia, that includes:
- South Korea (Dec 7)
- Indonesia (Dec 14)
- Malaysia (Dec 14)
- Philippines (Dec 14)
- Taiwan (Dec 14)
- China (Dec 14)
- and finally, Vietnam (Dec 21)
Of course in Vietnam, like most other countries with devout Apple fans, this isn’t big news. Since Tim Cook announced the iPhone 5 on September 12th the handsets were easily available for purchase at local smartphone shops and resellers. The first problem was making sure that the nano-sim was properly shaved and cut to fit the iPhone 5’s reduced size SIM slot. The final barrier was getting telecom service on the phone. Yesterday’s announcement now reassures Apple fans that Viettel, Mobifone, and other services will soon offer iPhone5 service.
With Android handsets cheaper and more widespread, and no official Apple Store on Vietnamese soil, Android has quickly climbed to the top of the Vietnamese smartphone market. With the iPhone 5 putting Apple back on top of the smartphone world, will it do the same in Vietnam?
The culture around “Vietnam’s Apple” closely parallels China’s bootlegging culture where Chinese smartphone suppliers also got their hands on the iPhone 5 well before the latest announcement. After the phone was officially announced, China Unicom’s pre-orders have hit over 100,000 on just the first day of availability. Vietnam will certainly be following this sort of trend.