According to the latest research from the Counterpoint Research Market Monitor service, realme, the fastest growing (157% YoY) brand globally in Q1 2020, emerged to be the fastest-growing (173% YoY) brand in the South East Asia (SEA) region as well. With this growth, realme continued to be among the top 5 smartphone brands in the SEA region. realme was able to achieve this growth even while markets were declining due to the COVID-19 pandemic; SEA d.ecline 11% and the global market declined by 13% over the first quarter in 2019.
realme was able to defy the market odds due to a strong product portfolio, effective marketing and the right channel strategies. realme has been continuously able to bring products with key premium features such as fast refresh-rate displays, quad cameras, innovative colors, materials and finishes, providing excellent value-for-money. For example, the realme 5 series brought quad-cameras and the 6 series brought 90Hz displays, within reach of mid-tier consumers.
The brand’s focused marketing efforts in the form of social media campaigns, creating communities to connect with young consumers has helped the brand understand consumers’ needs as well as gain popularity, especially among its core youth audience. This is complemented by its online channel strategy, which has helped realme respond quickly to consumer demands by bringing its products faster into the market, and to scale. It is also one of the first brands to bring a 5G device to the SEA region.
Exhibit 1: realme timeline for key SEA Markets
Within the SEA countries, realme shipments grew two-fold in almost all the key markets during the quarter (Exhibit 1). realme was able to enter the top 5 brands in Philippines, Vietnam, Indonesia, and Myanmar within a year of launching; in Cambodia within the quarter of its launch and it entered the top 5 OEMs in Thailand in Q1 2020, thus becoming one of the leading players in all the key SEA markets. These markets together account for over 80% of smartphone shipments in SEA. This also is one of the fastest ramp-ups for any OEM in the region.
Recently, after gaining success in the smartphone segment, realme is diversifying and moving towards a connected ecosystem strategy. realme aspires to be a tech trendsetter brand and is working on those lines. The brand has already launched some AIoT products like smart TV, smartband, smartwatch, and true wireless stereo headsets (TWS). This will help realme maintain growth and provide a holistic experience in the form of a connected ecosystem, especially to its tech-savvy young consumers.