JAKARTA, Indonesia and NEW DELHI, Aug. 23, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — The world’s fastest-growing smartphone brand, realme, held its 5-Year Anniversary “Leap Up” Press Conference on 23rd August to share its story of the last 5 years and launch its “Leap-Forward Climbing Plan” as well as “5th Anniversary Leap Up Product”.
Over the past 5 years, despite starting out in a fiercely competitive market, realme quickly became a mainstream brand. The recent “Leap Up” 5-year anniversary speech detailed behind-the-scenes startup stories and shared how such incredible success was achieved through realme’s unique enthusiasm for challenges. At the event, realme unveiled the “Leap-Forward Climbing Plan” and announced a new goal of aiming higher and being the first choice for young users around the world.
From no-name to big name: the only new brand to enter the Top 10 in nearly 10 years.
Before realme’s founding in 2018, the smartphone industry’s “startup fever” was already gradually cooling down. While the overall growth rate had slowed, high-end smartphones were beginning to trend, and 5 brands were called domestic giants by the industry. There were 701 mobile phone brands in the industry, all in fierce competition for market share. It was under these conditions that realme was born in India, and quickly recognized the consumers’ core pain point — all phone designs were safe and boring, and those that looked decent were extremely expensive.
That’s the reason why realme decided to create a smartphone that offered both outstanding performance and trendsetting design, targeted at young people. The phone lived up to expectations, and the launch of its first product received recognition from the media personnel and users at the event. Immediately after that, realme achieved a sales miracle by selling 2 million units of smartphones during India’s largest e-commerce festival, Diwali. It also rapidly expanded from India to other emerging markets in Southeast Asia. The overseas markets were saturated by the industry giants and had different channel structures, so realme knew it would be extremely hard to establish localized operations. However, thanks to a young team with an average age of only 28, and an operating model of “light assets, short channel modes, and e-commerce prioritization”, realme quickly earned brand awareness.
Time has shown that the most important is to take the first step and simply give it a try. realme’s fight from zero to one is a story of an adventurous spirit and earnest efforts to gain the support and trust of partners. This has led to its various achievements, including its breakthrough sales performance. Within less than a year of its establishment, realme successfully entered 10 markets, including India, Indonesia, Vietnam, Malaysia, the Philippines, Thailand, Egypt, Pakistan, etc. Remarking on realme’s status as the only new top-10 player in the past 10 years, realme shared a valuable lesson from the experience: Dare to leap even in the face of giants, because you may just beat the odds.
“Dare to Leap” ambition: no matter who you are, you have the chance to change the world.
In 2019, realme officially returned to China and soon launched the X-series Master Edition, co-designed with renowned industrial designer Naoto Fukasawa. The creative onion- and garlic-inspired textures brought excitement to a market full of dull designs, leading the series toward great success with young people. The cooperation with top masters as a young brand and the tireless efforts of realme’s young team contributed significantly to its success.
In the press conference, realme mentioned that the company defined its “Dare to Leap” spirit at a very early stage, hoping that such a youth-infused brand could develop products that would truly delight the industry and users. With an internal design team of only 5 people at that time, realme decided to seek external support. The team was particularly moved by Naoto Fukasawa’s “design means observing objectively” concept and finally reached out to him. After a long discussion about branding and products, Naoto Fukasawa agreed to cooperate, and the cooperation lasts until today.
Working with Naoto Fukasawa inspired new levels of self-confidence in the realme team. A new brand may have seemed lightyears apart from a world-class designer, but earnest efforts closed the gap. realme believes that “if nobody has done it, you can be the first. That’s how we understand ‘Dare to Leap’ and what we did for the last five years.”
Following that, realme released more products attracting more and more global fans and driving rapid growth. In 2019, with a growth rate of up to 808%, realme was named the world’s fastest-growing smartphone brand. In 2020 Q3, it became the world’s fastest smartphone brand to reach 50 million units in sales (source: Counterpoint). And in 2021, realme broke yet another record by becoming the world’s fastest smartphone brand to sell 100 million units (source: Strategy Analytics). It took the brand only 37 months to enter the top 5 in 30 markets around the world, leading it to become ranked 6th in the world for the first time (source: Counterpoint). In this way, realme leaped ahead and became the youngest mainstream smartphone brand in the world. realme proved that no matter who you are, you have the chance to change the world.
As determined as ever: to be the first choice for young users around the world.
All throughout major challenges, including COVID-19, rising inflation, falling demand for new smartphones, and others, realme has stayed true to its “Dare to Leap” spirit and focused on refining its products.
Last year, realme announced that it had approached the second stage of growth as a startup, and will further refine its focus on targeted, long-term growth, launching the “Simply Better” Strategy. realme was transparent about what had brought about this shift. realme noted that it had become too confident in its position due to previous record sales, and realized that it had launched too many products too soon, and was lacking focus and discipline.
They set out to stop the losses — first simplifying the product offerings, and then unifying the global product line and bringing the number series back to the Chinese market. Making such decisions was not easy. But since realme had determined to only make leap-forward products, it was not afraid to start again from scratch.
After establishing its new direction, realme established a new principle: “No Leap, No Launch.” In line with this, realme launched the realme GT3 – its next-generation speed flagship with world’s first mass-produced 240W fast charging at Mobile World Congress 2023. Moreover, realme 11 Pro+ 5G marked a ground-breaking camera flagship of the year with the world’s first 200MP SuperZoom camera with 4x Lossless Zoom – the most powerful in its price range.
Having hit the 5-year milestone and facing a challenging environment, realme launched its “Leap-Forward Climbing Plan” and four initiatives to support its goal of becoming the first choice for young users around the world:
Continue to commit to its “No Leap, No Launch” product strategy, so that every single product realme release is a leap-forward product, with at least one leap-forward feature that is the undisputed best in its class. Invest in technology innovation, focusing on creating breakthroughs in performance, photography, and design, the three areas the young users find most important. Focus on bringing innovations to products in the $400–600 USD range while strengthening the competitiveness of the $700+ USD price segment. Invest in new markets over the next five years, aiming for a total of 100+ markets, to fulfill our mission of providing leap-forward products to young people around the world.
Over the next 5 years, realme has set out to start again with an “empty cup mentality”, embracing “climbing mode” and taking on challenges. The company is set to continue creating leap-forward products for young people, striving to be the brand that understands them best, and to become the first choice of young people around the world.
realme is a global consumer technology company disrupting the smartphone market by making cutting-edge technologies more accessible. It provides a range of smartphones and lifestyle technology devices with premium specs, quality, and trend-setting designs to young consumers. Established by Sky Li in 2018 and driven by its “Dare to Leap” spirit, realme has become one of the top 5 smartphone players in 30 markets globally in just three years, and realme has entered multiple markets worldwide, including China and Southeast Asia, South Asia, Europe, the Middle East, Latin America, and Africa, and has a global user base of over 160 million. For more information, please visit www.realme.com.