From an idea between friends in a back office in Mumbai, to the world’s fastest-growing smartphone brand in just two years, realme is making waves in Europe.
Since co-founding realme in 2018, my ambition has been to approach smartphone technology differently – making sure that everyone has access to high-quality devices, no matter what they can afford. This year in particular has been an exciting time for the business, and as we push forward with our European expansion this Autumn and the launch of our realme 7 series – democratizing the smartphone space is an ambition that’s fast becoming a reality.
Adapting to a new world
2020 has been a year like no other for businesses across the world, and the tech community has undoubtably had to face up to the realities of changing customer demands and requirements. As people across the world are forced inside due to the ongoing threat of COVID-19, we’re seeing a shift in how people view community and connectivity – and the smartphone industry is going to be crucial in shaping this part of our lives going forward.
With access to quality smartphones becoming ever more essential, we’re thankful to have seen significant growth this year, even against a background of worldwide economic uncertainty. realme’s global shipments reached 25 million a year in 2019, marking a year-on year growth rate of 808% since the brand’s launch in Asia. In 2020, despite the challenges presented by COVID-19, we’ve actually managed to increase sales and market share in the last quarter of this year – a huge achievement and one we’re extremely proud of.
Responding to a new generation of smartphone users
What makes realme unique is that we are founded on providing technology to the new generation of smartphone users. Our experience has shown us that tapping into the wants and needs of young people will be crucial for smartphone companies going forward.
We know young people have been particularly affected by the impact of the pandemic on their everyday lives, and we’re deeply conscious of the fact that smartphones have huge potential to positively impact the lives of younger users. Young people are looking for products that fit in with their busy lives, that work quickly and efficiently to enable them to connect with their peers online and with the world around them. Recognising this, in the realme 7 series, we’ve developed super-fast battery charging technology (up to 13% in just 3 minutes) and created the most powerful mid-range gaming phone in its class – all with the needs of the new generation in mind. We know people across the board are now also looking for reliability in their choice of smartphone. That’s why we’re particularly proud that we’re the first ever smartphone company to fully pass TüV Rheinland Smartphone Reliability Verification – and pride ourselves in offering an extensive 3-year warranty period (1 year longer than any other mainstream smartphone brand).
Combining high-spec design and powerful performance with accessible price points, our formula for success is all about providing a product that can truly become part of, and benefit, our customers’ everyday lives.
Looking to the future
We’ve put a big emphasis this year on how we can future-proof our business and ensure that we’re able to keep delivering for our customers in 2020 and beyond. Part of this is tapping into the needs and wants of users in the digital age.
Seeing the potential of 5G to meet these needs is therefore a real focus for us as we look to the future. That’s why we became one of the first manufacturers in the industry to implement 5G capabilities (in our realme X50 and X50 Pro range) – offering this new technology to people shopping at a lower price point (from 200USD and up). realme will launch 5G products from the entry level to flagship price segments in 2-3 years worldwide, further popularising 5G technology.
This approach has been instrumental for us in reaching new smartphone users, particularly our younger customers. The new technology has transformed the industry, but we firmly believe that it shouldn’t be exclusive and privileged just to high-end phones. Faster connectivity has the potential to empower creativity in a new way and that’s why it’s part of realme’s vision to break down those cost barriers and ensure everyone that needs it, has access to it.
This approach to making smartphones available to everyone, whatever their price point is driving realme forward as we aim to become one of the Top 5 smartphone companies worldwide.
Madhav Sheth, Vice President of realme, CEO of realme Europe and India
Find out more at realme.com/uk