BKAV calls Bphone the first designed- and made-in-Vietnam phone. Other Vietnamese companies have put their own brands on Chinese-made designs, but BKAV spent $20 million and four years building Bphone.
The Bphone comes in six variations -- 16GB black; 64GB in black, white or champagne; and limited edition 128GB gold-plated black or white.
Bphone has a technology called TransferJet that lets users share photos and other items with other Bphone users.
Pricing for Bphone ranges from about $458 to $925. Most people in Vietnam make less than $150 a month, but there is a market for pricey phones. Nearly half of all smartphone sold in Vietnam come from Apple and Samsung, according to market tracker Strategy Analytics.
BKAV created its own software -- called the Bphone Operating System, or BOS for short --- to layer on top of Google's Android software. BOS comes packed with many BKAV-designed apps, including a browser (Bhrome) and dialer/Internet-based calling app (Btalk). Another key feature of BOS -- strong antivirus software, which is BKAV’s bread and butter.
The Bphone's design is reminiscent of an Apple iPhone 4 but with a bigger, 5-inch screen. (The iPhone 4 had a 3.5-inch display)
Along with some features similar to the iPhone, the Bphone packaging also looks like earlier iPhone boxes.
BKAV has 150 workers in two factories in Hanoi who build certain Bphone parts and assemble the devices. The company plans to move to a larger factory in the suburbs when demand picks up.