Oct 24, 2012

Vietnam - Mobile apps in Vietnam mostly serve entertainment demand

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VietNamNet Bridge – Thirty eight percent of the total income of mobile service firms come from lottery and soccer business, 32 percent from online games and 11 percent from ring tones. The figures show that the mobile apps developed in Vietnam mostly target to serve the entertainment needs.

Phung Tien Cong, Deputy Director of MV Corporation, when asked about the revenue of the market of the content services for mobile phones, said the revenue is roughly 12 trillion dong.

However, Cong said, content providers (CP) can pocket 2 trillion dong only, while the other 10 trillion dong falls into the hands of mobile network operators.

The noteworthy thing is that the revenue from the mobile services has been mostly sourced from entertainment services. MV Corporation, for example, has 38 percent of revenue from lottery – soccer business, 32 percent from online games, 11 percent from ring tones services, and eight percent from offline games. Meanwhile, other services only bring modest income to the company.

Regarding the content development, mostly apps for mobile phones, Cong said that piracy remains a big problem that hinders the development of the market. Copying other products and re-processing the products to turn them into completely new products has become so popular in Vietnam.

Nguyen Duy Hien, co-founder of Appota Vietnam, the company that distributes digital content on mobile phones, agrees that the mobile apps in Vietnam mostly serve the entertainment needs, such as games or music. The majority of enterprises have limited production capability, poor digital content and high proportion of pirated content products.

The cartoons about Conan or Seven Dragon Pearls, for example, have been provided by many companies in unlicensed different versions through Appota.

Though realizing that the content versions are unlicensed, Appota would have to accept them, but it would remove the versions once someone claims about the copyright.

In fact, an expert said, if distributors tighten their rules and refuse unlicensed content products, there would be very few products to be provided to clients.

Non-entertainment apps – where are they?

A lot of Vietnamese people complain that they cannot find any apps needed for their lives and works, such as the apps in education or healthcare.

It is simply because the firms and individuals who once tried to develop the apps, have failed with their projects.

However, there is a very important reason behind this – the profit the firms expect is not high enough for them. In general, it would take the firms a long time to see the products make profits. Therefore, the Vietnamese firms, which remain weak in financial capability and labor force, would prefer designing apps for entertainment, which allows them to get money soon.

However, experts have also affirmed that the opportunities remain open for the app developers who focus on making the apps useful for people’s daily life.

Nguyen Duy Hien from Appota Vietnam said that the firm’s statistics showed that some education apps always stayed in the top 10 of the apps which have the highest numbers of downloads for many weeks, affirming that the apps of these kinds are always in the high demand in Vietnam.

Nokia has joined forces with InfoDev, an arm of the World Bank, to set up Mlab app research center in Vietnam. Ellen Olafsen from InfoDev said InfoDev tries to set up the centers with an aim to generate the apps serving people’s daily lives, push up the socio-economic development and the knowledge-based economy.

She emphasized that mobile apps would help connect people, businesses and government public services more easily.

Buu Dien

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