Smartphone maker realme on Wednesday said it is working on deepening its presence in brick-and-mortar retail and will introduce an offline retail-centric series of devices next year as part of its efforts to strengthen its hold in the Indian market.
realme, which ranks fourth in the Indian smartphone market, is also looking at bringing in more IoT (Internet of Things) devices in the country.
"As per GfK data, we have a 3-5 per cent share in the offline market already. Our aspiration is to get to an overall (online and offline) market share of 30-35 per cent and for that, offline retail will play a very important role," realme India CEO Madhav Sheth told PTI.
He added that the company is working on introducing an "offline retail-centric smartphone series" in the first quarter of 2020.
realme occupied the fourth spot in the Indian smartphone market with 14.3 per cent share, after Xiaomi (27.1 per cent), Samsung (18.9 per cent) and Vivo (15.2 per cent). Oppo ranked fifth with 11.8 per cent share in the July-September 2019 quarter, as per IDC data.
Interestingly, realme is part of BBK Group, which also owns brands like OPPO, vivo and OnePlus. As per a report by research firm CMR, BBK Group companies had achieved a record-high 42 per cent share in India's smartphone market for the quarter ended September.
Talking about realme's offline presence, Sheth said its products are available across 7,000 retail points, which will be ramped up to about 20,000 by March, and 35,000 by December 2020.
"While 60 per cent of these retail stores are currently in tier I cities, we believe growth will be driven in the market by tier III and IV markets, and we are focussing our expansion with these markets in mind," he explained.
Sheth said online retail accounts for 70 per cent of its sales.
Asked about complaints from offline retailers about differential treatment vis-a-vis online platforms, Sheth said, "realme offers the lowest margins in trade (offline retail) but strong sales volumes has compensated for that." "For us, its not about numbers. Whether it is the dealer or the end-customer, we want to build a long-term relationship," he added.
realme on Wednesday launched its flagship smartphone -- realme X2 Pro -- priced at ₹29,999 onwards. The premium device features 50W Super VOOC Flash Charge (which allows 100 per cent charging in 35 mins) and Snapdragon 855+ processor. It will be available in two variants -- 8GB RAM/128GB memory and 12GB RAM/256GB memory -- and will go on sale from November 26.
It has also launched an upgraded realme 5s that features a 48MP quad-camera setup and 5,000 mAH battery. The device is priced ₹9,999 onwards and will be available in two variants -- 4GB/64GB and 4GB/128GB -- from November 29.
Sheth said the company will continue to play across price points. "Our C series is available for about ₹6,000 and the latest flagship goes up to ₹34,000. The focus is on offering rich experience and features, rather than just asking for a premium price," he said.
He added that the company is looking at bringing in more wearables, audio products and IoT products but declined to comment on details.
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