Realme will sell phones in Europe and will start making smartphone accessories
Realme is off to a good start in India, as the company has managed to get decent traction for itself in the budget categories. Realme prides itself upon selling value smartphones which have begun competing against the likes of Xiaomi, providing a similar (or even better) set of specifications at similar price points. Devices like the Realme 3 Pro provide an excellent alternative to users who do not wish to buy a Xiaomi Redmi Note 7 Pro, and we appreciate the choice that the company has brought to the market. GSMArena had the opportunity to sit down with Realme CEO Mr. Madhav Sheth to talk about Realme’s expansion plans and more.
Realme plans to retain its focus within the $100 to $300 market. Realme also plans to make 5G-capable devices once operators in India are ready to introduce the same, which I personally do not foresee happening anytime before late-2020 at least. Realme’s plans also include expansion into Europe in the very near future, as Mr. Sheth mentions that it should happen before July 2019. The company will begin its Europe expansion through the online sales channel, delivering devices directly to consumers without any carrier partnerships. The company also plans to diversify into smartphone accessories, but it remains to be seen which markets will be their preferred spots for selling accessories.
With respect to foldable smartphones, Realme does consider it a possibility for the future, but Mr. Sheth appeared skeptical about the current state of the technology and would prefer waiting for it to mature further.
Mr. Sheth also mentions that 30% of their customers have migrated from Samsung, while another 40% have come from Xiaomi devices in the past.
Mr. Sheth also spent time talking about software updates on Realme devices. All devices are promised to get two years of security patches and Android updates, which is decent considering the fact that most of these devices are in the budget and early-mid ranges. All devices in their existing portfolio are also expected to receive their Android Pie update before the end of June 2019. Realme 3 Pro is also expected to be the first device in their portfolio to get Android Q Beta — this is a slightly confusing statement as it makes a reference to Beta, indicating an update before the official launch of Android Q in Q3 2019. On the other hand, the CEO believes that stock Android is not the right experience for users. Realme’s goal is to “get closer to the stock Android experience and give users a stable OS with regular security patches and updates“. The company also has “some more news” in this regard, but we will have to wait till October 2019 for this particular tidbit.