Will BPhone 2 succeed if positioned as high-end product?

 BKAV (Bach Khoa Anti-virus Center) attracted people’s attention launching BPhone with shocking statements and an impressive debut ceremony.

On August 20, replying to a question on BPhone fanpage about the time to market the next version of BPhone – BPhone2 – the administrator said BPhone2 will be launched by the end of the year.

BKAV, the manufacturer, ran a flashy media campaign to advertise first-generation BPhone. Its managers stated that BPhone was made of 800 different accessories with strong configuration and glistening appearance comparable with iPhone.

Positioning BPhone as a high-end product, the manufacturer set very high prices – VND9.99 million for 16GB version, VND12.9 million for 64GB and VND20.2 million for 24K gold-inlaid 128 GB version – though BPhone was introduced as a ‘made-in Vietnam product’.

With such price levels, BKAV joined the high-end market segment where it competes directly with Apple and Samsung.

BKAV’s vice president Bach Thanh Le then said the firm, joining hands with Qualcomm Group, is working with mobile network operators to launch BPhone in the US and India.

After one year, BPhone has fallen by 63% in price, while information about BPhone ‘has sunk like a stone’ in the market.

Commenting about BPhone’ failure, Nguyen Ngoc Long, a social media blogger, said the problem was the quality which did not match the manufacturer’s commitments, thus disappointing consumers.

The PR campaign run by BPhone raised controversy and consumers did not have sympathy for the manufacturer’s statements’.

Therefore, in order to gain success with BPhone2, BKAV needs to follow a more methodical strategy which focuses on quality and has clear orientation. 

“The quality of products must be the key to conquer consumers’ heart. In a cramped market where consumers have many choices, only the most outstanding products can catch consumers’ attention,” he said.

A branding expert commented that while other smartphone brands focus on features, BPhone is advertised as ‘perfect’, which means all features are wonderful. This raised doubts among consumers and led to disappointment. 

“BKAV doesn’t have opportunities to win over two such big rivals, Apple and Samsung, which own so many patents,” he commented.

“As BPhone could not win consumers’ hearts, BKAV will find it difficult to attract consumers with the upgraded version BPhone2 to be launched by the end of the year,” he said.

While well-known smartphone brands in the world all gather strengthen developing apps and services on smartphones to make profits, BKAV still has no investment in this work, and it is focusing on selling devices with existing features.

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