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Realme sold over 15 million smartphones in the first year

(Image credit: Future)

Xiaomi was the underdog in the Indian smartphone race, where it was able to become the market leader in just five years. In a slightly amusing way, Realme replicated its model and joined the leaderboard in just a year.

In its first year of existence, Realme managed to sell 15 million smartphones. Considering how tricky of a market India has proven to be, even for the legacy smartphone makers, this is undeniably a commendable feat. Realme commenced operations in May of 2018 and eventually managed to become the fastest-growing brand in the country, providing some fierce competition to the likes of Xiaomi and Samsung.

Realme is currently the fourth-largest smartphone manufacturer in terms of sales volume, with a 14.3% market share. For the third quarter of 2019, the podium was held by Xiaomi (27.1%), Samsung (18.9%), and Vivo (15.2%) as per IDC. It is also the only one to have shown straight growth for every single quarter. 

Madhav Sheth, the company’s CEO, has mentioned that they are looking to double these sales figures for the next year (ending May 2020). Their current strategy includes having smartphones at every price point from under Rs 10,000 to over Rs 30,000, with the best possible specifications, and following an online-only model to keep better margins.

While they started with an online-only model, Realme plans on having an offline-only series starting next year, which is an essential step for the Indian market. More accessories and lifestyle products will follow it. They’re eyeing a 30:70 split for offline vs. online sales in the future.

Realme was initially started as a sub-brand of Oppo and has apparently split to become an independent company. However, it needs to be noted that Realme continues to use Oppo’s manufacturing facilities, at least in India.