As India's smartphone market is bracing for a potential leadership change amid a prolonged weak demand, Realme is looking to expand its offline reach and invest more in R&D.
According to The Economic Times, Realme has introduced its new flagship GT 3, which comes with 240W fast-charging technologies. Besides the new product launch, Realme also planned to expand its offline channel, achieve 100% growth, and be in the top three in Southeast Asia, where Realme has seen strong growth in recent years.
At MWC 2023, Realme said it would focus more on R&D and design and increase its competitive edge in areas including charging, photography, display, gaming, chipset, and industrial design, adding that it is setting up design studios in Paris, Shenzhen, and New Delhi.
In late February, Realme announced setting up a dedicated Realme Global Institute of Leap-forward Technology and a specialized branch in India for development technologies, including fast charging.
India, the largest market for Realme, accounts for more than 40% of its global smartphone sales by unit. However, India's smartphone market was hit by low demand, inventory build-up, and rising prices in 2022, with sales of the entry-level segment falling the most. According to Counterpoint Research, Realme, with higher exposure in the low-end market in India, saw its annual smartphone shipment decline by 14%.
According to an earlier The Economic Times report, the sales target of Realme for 2023 remains flat compared with that for the past year. Realme plans to sell 20 million smartphones in India, including 7 million 5G handsets.
Amid Realme's plan for a leading position in India, Xiaomi, the largest smartphone seller in India for the past years, has shown signs of wavering with high-level executives' departures, tighter regulatory scrutiny, and falling shipments in recent quarters. According to Counterpoint, Xiaomi's smartphone sales in India dropped 24% year-on-year in 2022, slipping to third place in the fourth quarter despite holding the top spot for the full year.
India's smartphone market share (%)
Source: Counterpoint, February 2023