Taking cues from OnePlus, Oppo VP resigns to focus on Realme brand
Oppo is the fourth largest smartphone vendor in India, but the company hasn’t traditionally been known for excelling in the value smartphone segment. Instead, the company, along with Vivo, has focused on offline marketing and offline retail to sell phones in the mid-range smartphone market, with the F7 being a prime example. This means that its phones haven’t been able to compete with vendors such as Xiaomi, Honor, and Asus.
This changed in May when Realme, a new online exclusive sub-brand of Oppo, launched the Realme 1, which shared quite a lot of its specifications with the Oppo F7 (a phone which was significantly more expensive). The phone has already sold 400,000 units in 40 days in India. Sky Li, former vice president of Oppo and head of the company’s overseas business, has now officially resigned from Oppo and founded Realme—a new technology brand. Mr. Li had previously served Oppo India as the country head, and now joins Realme as global CEO. Realme started off in May as a sub-brand of Oppo.
In a letter to Realme employees, Mr. Li introduced the new Realme brand and mentioned that the idea of creating the brand was born at the end of 2017. Realme has started off on the same path as OnePlus. OnePlus was founded when Peter Lau left Oppo and registered OnePlus as a new company.
Mr. Li, the founder of Realme, has led Oppo to grow from a company that was available in three markets to one that covers 31 countries and regions including Southeast Asia, South Asia, Middle East, Africa. He wrote in the letter: “Before leaving Oppo officially, I’ve been in charge of Oppo’s global overseas market during these past few years, leading [the company] to grow from the business available in 3 markets to one that covers 31 countries and regions. The overwhelming response and trust from the young generation is something that has encouraged me to launch the new brand Realme.”
Realme is said to be focusing on the ₹10,000-₹20,000 price range with its products for the Indian smartphone market. The brand has already gained over 1 percent share in the second quarter with one month’s sales in India, according to Counterpoint Research. It’s currently sharing production lines with Oppo in India, and has adopted an “India-first” approach to gain a majority of market share in India’s online channels. As part of this strategy, Realme will launch all new products in India first before introducing them to any other global market.
The implications of forming Realme as a new brand are many. Can Realme replicate OnePlus’ success in the value smartphone segment in India? The Realme 1 already under-cut all of its competitors with respect to pricing, while having competitive specifications. A potential successor has a real possibility to become the best phone in the budget smartphone market.
What are your thoughts regarding the founding of Realme as a new brand? Let us know in the comments below.
Source: The Economic Times