Apple sets up wholesale subsidiary in Vietnam

Apple has established a new unit in Vietnam to facilitate imports and distribution in the market, which is seeing a huge increase in demand for smartphones.

Based in Ho Chi Minh City, Apple Vietnam has a registered capital of VND15 billion (about $670,000). In addition to its role as a wholesaler, it will also provide advisory services.

Vietnam saw a 57% surge in smartphone shipments in 2014, with 11.6 million devices shipped, representing 41% of the total. Sales of smart devices in 2015 are on track to overtake feature phones for the first time – these constituted 63% of shipments as recently as 2013.

Prior to their official launch in Vietnam last month, Apple’s iPhone 6s and 6s Plus devices were selling for between VND20 million ($893) and VND30 million ($1,339) through unlicensed dealers. They are now available through Viettel and Vinaphone, as well as official resellers.

Some reports have claimed that before the official launch of the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus last year, demand was so high that many Vietnamese were paying as much as $1,550-$3,300 for resold devices acquired from markets such as Singapore.

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