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First-day sales of Vietnam’s Bphone hit almost 12,000 handsets: manufacturer

Nearly 12,000 orders were placed for the Vietnamese-made Bphone, claimed to be the world’s best smartphone, during the first day of sales on Tuesday, a week after its launch ceremony, the manufacturer announced later the same day.

Internet security firm Bkav, known for the antivirus software of the same name, only accepted orders from 10:00 am to 10:00 pm on vala.vn, its online shopping platform.

Traffic to the website was reportedly overloaded during the first ten minutes thanks to a huge number of visitors.

As of 10:00 pm, the Hanoi-based company had received 11,822 orders, newswire VnExpress quoted a company representative as saying.

The 16GB version was the bestselling, accounting for nearly 50 percent of the orders, according to Bkav.

A 16GB Bphone sells at VND9.99 million (US$455), whereas the 64GB and 24k gold plated 128GB editions fetch VND12.96 million ($595) and VND20.19 million ($927), respectively. All prices are exclusive of a 10 percent value-added tax.

Bkav said the sales of the luxury 24k gold version were “unexpectedly high.”

“We had expected that a few percent of our customers would buy that version, but the final figure turned out to be nearly 20 percent,” the company spokesperson said.

Most of the orders came from Ho Chi Minh City, followed by Hanoi and other cities and provinces including Da Nang, Nghe An and Quang Ninh.

Buyers who placed orders on Tuesday are scheduled to receive the devices early next week. Delivery will take two to three weeks from the ensuing days of sale, according to Bkav.

The Bphone will be delivered to the door of customers at a shipping fee of VND200,000 ($9.2) for those who pay in cash and live outside Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City.

Those paying by bank transfer or credit card will enjoy free shipping.

The Bkav spokesperson said the number of orders excluded “false orders,” or those that were canceled at the last minute by buyers who allegedly meant to tease the company.

Customers are allowed to return the device 14 days after purchase, at a cost of VND500,000 ($23), according to Bkav.

Bkav and its CEO Nguyen Tu Quang are infamous for frequently overstating their products and services, and the figures of the first-day sales are thus doubted.

Quang told the launch ceremony last week that his device is “the best smartphone in the world,” and is made of 800 different componentsprovided by 82 suppliers worldwide.

Among the suppliers are popular names such as Sharp, Qualcomm and Toshiba.

The Bphone is powered by Bkav’s own BOS, an operating system modified from the core of Google’s Android Lollipop.