March 25, 2021 10:46:24 am
“Realme 8 series will soon have 5G, but not today,” Madhav Sheth – Vice President, realme and Chief Executive Officer, realme India and Europe specified to indianexpress.com, adding that the objective at the moment was to “bring a 108MP camera at a particular price point of Rs 17,999”.
Though Realme has taken the lead when it comes to introducing 5G devices across price segments, with the new Realme 8 series, the brand is focusing on offering an overall performance, instead of just making the device future-proof.
For 5G, he said, there is the Realme X7 Pro at Rs 19,999 and other devices. The Realme Narzo 30 Pro is a 5G-ready phone, starting at Rs 16,999, so is the X7 series.
“We want to make sure that people get a very clear differentiation. We are giving them differentiating factors in terms of price that they can choose rather than get confused. Either they can get the 108MP (on Realme 8) or they can go for 5G devices (Realme X7), which are priced higher,” Sheth explained.
Realme is also the second player to offer a 108MP camera in the under Rs 20,000 price bracket. Rival, Xiaomi already has the Redmi Note 10 Pro Max, though it starts at Rs 18,999 which is Rs 1000 more compared to the Realme phone. The Redmi phones are also not 5G-ready.
For Realme, which wants to grab a sizable chunk of the mid-budget segment (Rs 10,000 to Rs 20,000) with Realme 8 series phones, the focus on specifications makes sense. This is after all a segment where bigger specifications can help boost volumes and grab the maximum attention on online platforms.
The brand also wants to increase its focus on offline retail, which will be a departure from its online-heavy strategy so far. In 2021, the brand plans to open a few flagship stores and 300~500 Realme exclusive smart stores, with a combination of company-owned and company-operated and franchise-owned and company-operated stores. It is also gearing up to open its first flagship store in Ahmedabad, Gujarat with 10,000 square feet floor space.
“I think the most important thing at this particular point of time is continuity, agility to move from online to offline and offline to online because you see a lot of states are going back to few lockdowns again and there’s a lot of chaos. There’s an anticipation of new lockdowns happening,” Sheth added.
He also stressed that COVID has taught the industry a harsh lesson in supply chain disruptions and they are still figuring out how to move forward from this. He admitted there were several delays due to supply chain disruptions, and lockdowns resulted in a lot of pent-up demand, though in his view, the demand has now come back to normal, pre-COVID times, which should provide some ease for the industry.
Still, the Realme CEO is confident that the brand will manage to do even better in 2021. “In online we aspire to be among the top two players this year. We want to sell about nothing less than 25-30 million units of smartphones this year. Last year, we sold about 18 million,” he said.
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