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Apple Set To Officially Enter Vietnamese Market

Instead of opening an official store in Vietnam, Apple has opted to partner with a local retailer to distribute their products in the country.

According to Tuoi Tre, sources say that telecom giant FPT will be announced as the “sole official distributor of the iPhone in Vietnam” at a press conference on November 14.

FPT boasts over 70 shops in the country and will be responsible for sourcing iPhones to other distributors under the terms of the agreement.

Other companies are in talks with Apple to become distributors for non-iPhone products.

Apple products in Vietnam tippled in the fiscal first half of this year, a rate 5 times faster than India, and the tech giant is finally taking notice and recently “talked up” the potential of the country in a quarterly conference call in April.

Even as Vietnam's economy grew at an underwhelming 5.4 percent last year, some point to a “hunger” for higher social status, something that can be achieved with iPhone ownership:

"I've seen no signs of an economic recession in this shop. People buy $1,000 items with ease and a family buying three iPads isn't uncommon," stated the manager of the Hanoi branch of FPT.

And the numbers seem to back this up:

“According to data released in January by market research firm GfK, smartphones accounted for 77 percent of mobile sales in Vietnam last year and the number of units sold grew nearly 135 percent from a year earlier. Tablet sales soared 250 percent in 2013 as prices fell by close to 27 percent.”

Some however, like one electronics shop owner, place value over status, opting for VND2 million knock-offs:

"Why pay 10 times more for a real iPhone just to build a luxury image and show off?" 

[Image via Daniel Hoherd]

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