Do you own a Blackberry? You probably do not. But I wonder if a Blackberry Pearl, which I own, is more expensive in the US than it is here in Vietnam.
From PCWorld Vietnam:
Viettel, ISP and Mobile Operator, is selling a Blackberry Pearl for VND9.9mil (USD$600), BlackBerry Curve 8320 VND12.9mil (US$750) and the 8700g for VND7.9mil (US$500).
If you want the Blackberry Internet Service with Pushmail and Smartphone, you will want to pay $30 as a subscription fee, minimum package, and the more you surf, the more you pay.
You know what, with VND2mil (US$120), I can go to the online black market (online forums where people sell Blackberries), get a decent Blackberry brought from China and if with enough luck, from the States, with a T-mobile or Cingular logo. I did that, got one from the store located at 16 Rạch Bùng Binh. It worked pretty well at first then problems arose, which led me to thinking it was not a genuine Pearl, but the service has been extremely satisfying and my Pearl is working very well now, as it were genuine.Happy customer.
The issue with buyers in Vietnam in general is that sellers are not trustworthy enough. Even at trusted stores, lies can be told. I was a victim once. It is worse when you “shop online” in those black markets. You don’t know who’s who. You will be a sheep in a matter of clicks. You will want to read as many posts and listen to as many people possible to know who’s the guy to trust your money with. I’m glad I chose the right guy.
So here comes the question. Who’s gonna buy a Blackberry that is five times as expensive as something I own. You may want to pay a little extra to get something from a certified distributor like Vietttel but 600 bucks is too much. And look at the data plans. With the second plan, I can get the best ADSL package in Vietnam, for businesses. Who’s gonna pay that for a phone? You? Not me. I can live without the Internet service. I have GPRS and can do pretty much everything I want to.
Viettel = Epic Fail.