Last update: 17:30 | 13/06/2018
Despite smartphone manufacturers’ best efforts, there is still a big market in HCM City, often driven by nostalgia, for old feature phones, which is driving their prices to unreasonable levels.
At a used phone shop on Pham Ngu Lao Street, District 1, old Nokia, Motorola and Sony phones are being displayed at prices ranging from VND2 million (US$87) all the way up to VND10 million (US$437).
A Nokia 8800 Anakin produced up to the end of the last decade costs VND3.5 million, an 8800 Sirocco costs VND4.5 million, an 8800 Arte costs VND7 million, while Nokia E71 and E72 and Motorola all fetch several million.
“I spent VND4.7 million to buy a Nokia 8800 because I do not use many applications on smart phones and I like old designs,” Nguyen Dinh Huy of District 8 said.
“Every month my shop sells around 300 old phones,” Hoang Gia Bao, the owner, told Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper.
Another shop in Le Van Sy Street in Tan Binh District sells old luxury phones such as Nokia gold-plated versions for VND 10 – 30 million.
Most customers looking for old feature phones are middle-aged and buy them to go on a nostalgia trip, though there is also a very practical reason for many: the fear of losing information to hackers.
“Many phone manufacturers have started producing old models again,” Nguyen Trung Duong, the owner of the shop on Le Van Sy, said.
Stories have been doing the rounds in the international media for the last few years about companies bringing back some iconic feature phone models.
But the question is will they make their way into Viet Nam. Old-phone fans will have to wait and see. — VNS