We've been talking about Realme's rapid expansion for some time now, but at the IFA 2020 in Berlin, the brand revealed just bold its aims are. After conquering India, Realme has Europe and Latin America in its sights, and is not hanging around in getting started.
Last week, Realme launched its 7 series smartphones. The new Realme 7 and 7 Pro feature impressive hardware and affordable pricing - nothing new to report here. The two new devices take the BBK Electronics subsidiary's score to 21 smartphones launched in a little over two years, but who's counting?
‘Dare to Expand’ and ‘Dare to Thrive’ are the phrases the brand is throwing around. With this mantra, Realme wants to be young and fearless, and says it is not stopping at what has already been achieved in the smartphone industry. Realme has made remarkable achievements in just two years and has been rated as the world’s fastest-growing smartphone brand for four consecutive quarters. It is already up to seventh overall worldwide. By 2021, Relame's goal is to be in the top five, with 15 million smartphones shipped.
Big plans for Europe and Latin America
At present, Realme has over 45 million users and is in 61 markets worldwide. It is a top-four brand in Australia, top five in Singapore, top four in India, and top four in South East Asia. Next on the list... Latin America.
Colombia is the first market to welcome Realme, but there will be two more markets joining it before the end of 2020. Within a year, Realme wants to have a presence in five Latin American markets. It is also looking to gain a top-five spot in this region quickly.
Realme has been coming for Europe of late, but on stage at the Messe Berlin last week we got a little more insight into what the plan looks like. Having previously set up base in Madrid, Spain, Realme is moving its European HQ to Germany. The exact location was not revealed, but given the presence of several other BBK Electronics brands in Düsseldorf, it would be a safe bet to assume Realme is off to the North Rhine-Westphalia.
A team of 100 localized sales and marketing staff will focus on eight key markets: Germany, The UK, Poland, Greece, Czech Republic, Spain, France, and Italy. Plans to expand into a further seven new markets are already in place. Consumers in Denmark, Finland, Sweden, Norway, The Netherlands, Belgium, and Luxembourg can expect to see Realme on store shelves soon.
Realme wants to be what Xiaomi never quite could
As well as smartphones, Realme has big plans to launch a lot of AIoT products. The brand has already released a full product portfolio covering each price segment, from entry-level to flagship, in its two years on the market. Next, with the strategy of smartphone plus AIoT, come the add on devices. The natural place to start here is with a fitness tracker/smartwatch and true wireless earbuds, and that's exactly what Realme has delivered in the shape of its Watch S Pro and Buds Air Pro.
This is all part of what Realme is calling its "1+4+N strategy". The 1 here is your core product, your smartphone, the device you use to connect, manage, and control all AIoT products with the Realme Link App. Then you have your four 'Smart Hubs', such as a smart TV, smart speaker, smartwatch, and headphones. Finally, you have your N AIoT products. The ‘N’ here represents Realme’s commitment to bring a plethora of new AIoT and peripheral products to the market. It calls these "trendsetting lifestyle products for our fans".
By then end of 2020, Realme says it will have more than 50 AIoT products across four core categories. Fast-forward a year, and by the end of 2021 that will be more than 100 AIoT products. There are also plans in place for more than 280 stores spread across the globe to showcase the brand's products.
This is the kind of rapid growth we have seen Xiaomi attempt in Europe, and whilst we've certainly witnessed an increased presence in our home market and seen several Xiaomi stores crop up, particularly in The UK, Xiaomi has not achieved anything like the numbers Realme is projecting here.
Sky Li, Founder and CEO of Realme, said: "As an international enterprise, Realme insists on bringing high-quality products with leap-forward performance and trendsetting design and creating the trendsetting smart life. After taking off in India, SEA, and some other markets, Realme will focus on the European and Chinese market and march into Latin America to play and leap forward with more young people!"
Madhav Sheth, recently promoted from CEO of Realme India to be Vice President of Realme, added: "It is a great challenge and also a new beginning for me to be responsible for both Europe and India market. Realme is committed to building a ‘One Europe’ strategy. Realme will become top five in Europe in 2021."
The vision is certainly bold, and I'm excited to see what happens here. You can't help but admire the confidence on show. Realme is certainly 'daring to expand', and time will tell if can truly 'thrive'.