Realme launched its first smartphone in May last year as an online-only OPPO sub-brand. Seven months on, the “Proud to be Young” brand has emerged as one of the most popular smartphone brands among consumers in the online segment. In order to further increase its market share in India, Realme has announced plans to expand its offline sales to 150 cities this year. By the end of 2019, Realme expects to have 20,000 outlets throughout the country.
Realme’s Offline Push Could Help Boost Market Share
Realme plans to have retail outlets in the top ten cities of the country by the end of January. It will then expand its presence to the smaller cities across India in a phased manner. The company plans to expand its presence to 50 new cities every quarter. By the end of the year, Realme is hoping to partner with 20,000 phone retailers across 150 cities in the country. The brand’s entire smartphone portfolio will be available for purchase in these retail outlets. Madhav Sheth, CEO of Realme India believes the new offline expansion plan is an extension of the company’s sales strategy and its ultimate target of ‘Realme for Every India.’.
In November 2018, Realme entered into a partnership with Reliance Digital to sell its smartphones offline in 130 cities across India at 1300+ Reliance Digital and My Jio stores. During Diwali 2018, Counterpoint data claimed Realme held the third position in overall market share in India. In the online segment, however, the young brand managed to grab the second spot. For a brand that has been on the market for less than a year, it is undoubtedly a very impressive feat.
Realme May Prove to be a Stronger Challenger to Xiaomi in 2019
Xiaomi is currently the leading smartphone vendor in India. While it initially focused only on the online segment, it significantly increased its focus on the offline segment last year. As a result, the company captured 27.3% of the Indian smartphone market in Q3 2018. Samsung was a distant second with a market share of 22.6%. However, Realme certainly has the potential to become a strong challenger to Xiaomi in India, particularly in the online segment. Realme’s latest smartphone, the selfie-focused Realme U1 has proved to be extremely popular among consumers in India. In its first sale, Realme managed to sell 200,000 units of the U1 on Amazon India and the Realme store. The brand’s other smartphones such as, the Realme 2 and the Realme Pro have also been extremely successful and were sold out within minutes in their first sale. The company’s entry-level Realme C1 is no less popular and happens to be among the best-selling entry-level Android smartphones in India currently.
Last year, Realme launched a total of five new Android smartphones between May and November. In 2019, we can expect the company to continue releasing a new model almost every month. The first Realme smartphone to launch in 2019 is expected to be the Realme A1. It is rumored that the Realme A1 will be a budget Android smartphone that will be positioned below the Realme U1 in the company’s lineup. In addition to the Realme A1, the Realme 3 is also expected to be launched within the first half of the year.