Rising brand realme became the fastest growing smartphone brand registering over 800% annual growth in Q3 2019.
As a result, realme shipped over 10 million smartphones and came in 7th place in the global smartphone market for the first time. This is especially noteworthy as the global smartphone market has been in decline for several quarters already.
Realme smartphone first appeared in China in 2010 as “OPPO Real”. It was a sub brand of OPPO Electronics Corporation until its separation in 2018, after which it became an independent company.
The brand has expanded rapidly across more than 20 countries. Among them, India and Indonesia are
the most important markets for realme, contributing to more than 80% of its shipments. In India, realme
ranked 4th in the smartphone market with 16% share, its highest market share ever, in Q3 2019. The
attractive design and specs of its smartphones aimed at the mid-tier market along with its aggressive
online channel strategy helped it achieve this milestone. It was the number one online brand on Flipkart
in Q3 2019 and second in the overall online market.
In Indonesia, realme was the fastest brand to reach one million units in Q3 2019 driven by strong sales
of realme C2 and realme 3. It is now looking to expand its position in other South East Asian(SEA)
markets as well. The start in China is modest, but now picking up. Going forward, Counterpoint Technology Market Research expects SEA and Europe will be critical markets for realme.
Realme is expanding its presence in Europe and now has offerings ranging from the entry to the flagship level. While the new flagship X2 Pro was unveiled earlier today in China it’s now making its way to Europe alongside the Realme 5 Pro and the vanilla Realme X2. Together these three will aim to compete with the likes of Xiaomi and Samsung in the Old Continent.
The core strength of the brand lies in its quick reaction to the changing market dynamics and consumer
preferences. realme has been quick to bring premium features to the budget segment and mass market.
For instance, it was among the first few brands to bring features such as quad-cam, 64MP rear
camera, water-drop design, pop-up selfie, within the $100-$250 price band. Afterwards the brand
has also smartly expanded to higher price bands with its flagship model X2 Pro. Its portfolio now
targets a broad price range from entry-level to high-end and offers different variants at small price
realme as a brand is now recognized for sturdiness and build quality of its devices. This has resonated
well especially among young consumers seeking value for money. Overall, strong word-of-mouth,
social media campaigns and connecting with young consumers has helped the brand grow. When it
comes to marketing it has focused more on events, such as college festivals, that involve one-to-one
connection with its core customers. It has stayed away from big budget marketing events that involve
huge marketing spends.
realme shows there still is growth in the market despite the several quarters of negative growth in the
global smartphone market. Targeting the right geographical markets, channels and consumers seems
to be the winning recipe.
Counterpoint Technology Market Research expects realme smartphone to become a serious contender in the market next year as growth will continue in emerging markets and online channels. The value for money proposition is also powerful in times of stagnant economic growth globally.