Less than a month after Vietnam lifted the lockdown late last year, dozens of people queued overnight to get their hands on iPhone 13. Sales start at midnight, and Vietnamese aren’t waiting for sunrise to join the hype. Distributors last year said they ran out of products due large turnout. In every new iPhone release, the same scenario happens every time.
Even amidst the pandemic, iPhone sales exploded in 2021, growing by 119% compared to 2020. Counterpoint Research wrote that “Apple has a place in the hearts of Vietnamese users,” thanks to its strategic distribution strategies and overall quality. It also helps that the Vietnamese are proud that Apple products are manufactured in the country.
Considering the meager monthly earnings, it has always been debated how Vietnamese can easily afford the latest iPhone. With the company’s products priced at over 15 million VND (except for reduced prices for old models), a Q&Me survey found that consumers — specifically those in their 20s — save up for two to three months to pay for the device.
We listed some of the most common reasons Vietnamese adore the brand and why they’re willing to sacrifice sleep to queue up at the store or limit their spending on other things to have an iPhone on their hands.
Top of mind
Unlike other brands that bombard you with extravagant and eye-catching promotions, Apple takes a "less is more" approach. The company uses minimalist elements to develop out-of-the-box advertisements, building a sort of mystery that people would surely crave to unravel themselves.
In a survey conducted by Q&Me, 46% of respondents said that Apple is the top-of-mind brand in Vietnam. The brand’s strong image of good quality, luxury, security, and minimalism. And it’s what everyone else in our favorite movies and TV series uses, right? Considering that Apple doesn’t do celebrity endorsements and just focuses on creative campaigns with ordinary consumers, its popularity is based solely on how it has built a reliable and elegant brand without being intimidating.
Continuous improvement in quality
From a technical perspective, iPhone is a quality product. All iPhones now have a retina display, which separates its visual from others'. Their bionic chips A13, A14, and A15 keep improving with newer models, creating a high performance for your everyday use. When you talk about iPhone, you cannot forget its camera. The three lenses it has not only surprised the world with creative looks but also in their usage. Your iPhone can act as a professional camera.
In addition, Apple has control over its hardware and software. If Android can be seen in multiple products, iOS is only available in iPhones, giving a tremendous edge over competitors. They can introduce new updates and improve users' experience in the palm of their hands.
Clean, straightforward design
The “Simple is better" mindset goes well with iPhone. From iPhone 10 onwards, the home button was removed from iPhones, creating more display areas for users. On the front, you can see a flat screen; on the back, there are just camera lenses. These phones also come in primary monotone colors: Black, white, green, purple, yellow, and red.
iPhone's UI design is flat design with no 3D factors, giving the units a minimalistic appearance. The colors used in their designs are monochromatic or contrasting tones that are harmoniously combined to create consistency.
Good value for money
Although it might be expensive to buy an iPhone, this device can last for many years. Currently, some people still use iPhone 7 or 8, released 4-5 years ago. With such durability, older versions of iPhones can still be sold with quite a value of money.
The three-year-old iPhone 11 is still very popular, becoming one of the best-selling smartphones in the last two months.
Apple also has a program where you can swap your used iPhone for a new one. This promotion not only helps the company protect the environment by limiting waste but also benefits customers as they don't have to spend as much money to buy a new model.
A status symbol
It cannot be denied that Apple has done an excellent in its branding. Many famous people in Vietnam use iPhones, such as singer Bao Thy, Miss Vietnam 2016 Do My Linh, footballer Bui Tien Dung, and even Shark Hung. These make us subconsciously relate iPhones to people with success, fortune, and good intentions.
And with society estimating a person’s financial status by the phone he’s using, carrying an iPhone is a way to be seen or to belong. While such a mindset is unhealthy and puts unnecessary pressure on people, many Vietnamese believe owning an iPhone gives them more confidence to socialize — like a dress that flaunts their status. A convenient display of wealth, real or not.