- Realme has become India’s fastest-growing smartphone brand, selling 15 million handsets in its very first year of operation in India.
Madhav Sheth, CEO of Chinese handset maker said Realme has become India’s fastest-growing smartphone brand, selling 15 million handsets in its very first year of operation in India and aiming to double next year’s sales.
Realme, which started as an Oppo sub-brand in May 2018, was spun off promptly into a stand-alone company and is now picking up bigger rival Xiaomi with similar price points and segments of 7,000-20,000 devices.
Unlike other Chinese players such as Vivo and Oppo, who are offline focused on channel advertising and offline distribution investments, Realme has been following the market leader’s approach closely and starting from the start online.
Sheth, who together with BBK Group founded the company, said Realme ranks seventh worldwide as the fastest-growing smartphone brand. “We will finish 2019 with revenue of 15 million handsets, the first full year of our operations. We aim to double this in 2020 at least, “he told PTI.
The company controls the market share of 14.3 percent, said International Data Corporation (IDC) citing industry data. According to IDC, Realme has now risen to become India’s fourth-largest smartphone brand in the third quarter. The popularity exploded on the same lines as Xiaomi, who since 2015 has been selling their phones in the region, offering a good price-to-quality ratio on their smartphones.
Xiaomi is the market leader with a 27.1% share, led by Samsung (18.9%) and Vivo (15.2%) in the third quarter, according to IDC. In the third quarter of 2018, Realme had a market share of 3.1 percent.
Realme is present today, starting from India, in 20 markets like China, Southeast Asia, Russia, Europe, he said. “In the Diwali month alone, we sold 5.2 million smartphones,” Sheth said.
Realme shipped 10 million smartphones in the third quarter of 2019, an 808 percent increase in shipments year-on-year, according to Counterpoint Research. During the festive season sales, phones like the Realme C2, Realme 3i and Realme 5 were among the best-selling models of the company.
Counterpoint report says the company now ranks seventh in the global smartphone market.
Sheth said the company is planning to run an offline-only series for India to be called by the end of this year. The new series will concentrate more on all-rounder user experiences including better battery, touch, and sound (aesthetics) targeted at the mid-premium range.
“We are lining up with more smart, high-performance accessories and trendy design. In 2020, Realme will become a brand of tech lifestyle, “he said.
In India, Realme has four successful product line-ups: C series, Number series, Pro series, and X series.
Realme has a very strong online presence and is already Flipkart’s number 1 product and overall number 2. Across retail markets, the company is also expanding its presence.
This targets offline sales of 30% and online sales of 70%, he said. BBK Electronics also owns smartphone brands from Vivo and Oppo. Realme has already been said to be an independent entity. “We wanted to make it clear that Realme Mobile Telecommunications Private Ltd is already an independent brand and legal entity,” he said on May 4, 2018, adding the brand was established by himself and founder Sky Li.
BBK has a majority stake and a minority interest in the firm, Sheth said without giving any details.