By the time you finish reading this line, realme, a fast-growing Chinese consumer technology business, may have sold another ten mobile devices throughout the world. That is how quickly the firm is entering the global smartphone market.
“It certainly has been a crazy ride,” Sky Li, CEO, and creator of realme, remarked in an interview with Forbes in June when the firm had just shipped its 100 millionth smartphone.
According to the most recent study from technology consultant Strategy Analytics, realme is also the quickest smartphone brand in history to sell 100 million devices in just over three years.
This amazing achievement – nearly one handset every second – outperforms Apple’s four-year timeframe for reaching the 100 million milestones when it initially released the iPhone. Since its start in 2018, realme has broken several industry records. It was also the world’s quickest to reach the 50 million shipment milestone in Q3 2020, completing the task in only nine quarters.
From Nothing To One Hundred Million Dollars.
Realme, headquartered in the southern Chinese city of Shenzhen, has catapulted its position within consumer technology – competing with top players such as Apple and Samsung – by selling high-performance, stylish, and value-driven devices to an underserved segment: young consumers who frequently found themselves in a stiff tradeoff of functionality versus design and price.
“Even though the global smartphone industry was already very saturated when we initially joined, with the top competitors taking the majority of overall market share, as a newcomer, we were able to identify a gap that others did not, and we were determined to fill it and revitalize the market,” Li added.
During a business trip to India, the creator observed youthful consumer behaviors, noticing that this growing sector of the population — which had pushed consumer growth — was utilizing low-quality phones missing design and functionality because little else was available at the proper price range. The business — and its evident holes for young customers — sparked Li’s interest, and he founded realme a few months later with the goal of serving those previously neglected young consumers.
“We wanted to break the norms and establish industry standards, but it wasn’t easy. Many individuals first questioned us or did not take us seriously. The first year was difficult since some of our business partners did not trust in us, but we were persuaded by the market opportunity and our objective of making cutting-edge technology and style more accessible to the young.”
According to the most recent statistics from research firm International Data Corporation, realme remained the fastest-growing major smartphone brand in the world in the second quarter of 2021, with a Y-o-Y growth rate of 149 percent (IDC). According to Strategy Analytics, the business also entered the top five smartphone brand league in Europe in the same quarter.
Li credited realme’s success to its youth-focused brand positioning, product strategy, and online-heavy distribution approach. “Young people are at the core of practically everything we do here at realme, including R&D, marketing, sales, and even company culture,” he explained.
Moving Past The 100 Million Mark
Selling 100 million devices in three years is a remarkable achievement, but realme is only getting started.
“I am very proud of realme for surpassing the 100 million shipments milestone and being the quickest in industry history – the credit belongs to all of our users and staff throughout the world. It’s always exciting to break new ground, but we’re not done yet. Records exist to be broken, and we want to break a few more,” Li added.
In Terms Of The Next Goal
So, how will this accelerated growth be achieved?
While realme was previously regarded as a champion of cheap quality, with the global introduction of its current flagship product – the realme GT – in June, the company is experiencing success in the mid-to-high-end market. The realme GT, as the first gadget of what is expected to be a larger GT series, is the first step in the company’s mission to challenge the higher-end competitors. “There will be many more,” said Li, who is optimistic that the firm will grab substantial market share in the premium category while creating a full-fledged product range encompassing all price points.
realme is also going beyond smartphones to include all items associated with a young person’s daily existence. realme unveiled an enhanced “1+5+T Strategy” in June, detailing the roadmap for the next five years of development of its AIoT network and product range. While “1” denotes cellphones, “5” denotes five distinct main products, including True Wireless Stereo (TWS), wearables, TV, tablets, and laptops. The “T” represents TechLife, realme’s AIoT brand. IoT is a critical component of realme’s long-term vision and the strategic emphasis of the company’s next phase of growth.
Furthermore, 5G is expected to drive realme’s growth. In order to be a “5G popularizer,” realme released 14 ultra-fast 5G gadgets last year, accounting for almost 40% of all goods. This year, the business extended its 5G portfolio to more than 20, bringing the 5G ratio of goods to 70%. realme stated in June its aim to place youthful people at the forefront of pushing global 5G adoption, with the objective of supplying them with 100 million 5G phones by 2024 – a move that is expected to boost global 5G acceptance and ease realme’s own growth.
“I am sure that our greatest years are still ahead of us,” Li added, “as long as we continue to live up to the ‘Dare to Leap’ attitude and retain our ‘disruptor’ mentality – that is, being enthusiastic, flexible, inventive, and curious enough to shake up the current quo.”