Chinese smartphone maker Oppo has announced a new sub-brand named Realme that will cater exclusively to the online retail segment. The company has confirmed the smartphones launched under Realme branding will be exclusive to Amazon India. This is the first major bet from Oppo, the fourth largest smartphone brand in India, to enter the online-only segment.
The company also confirmed that the first Realme smartphone will be called Realme 1 and it will launch on May 15, 2018. In the teaser page being put up by the Seattle-based e-commerce giant, Realme is being pitched as a smartphone brand catering to youth in the country and will include a wide range of devices. All the smartphones from Realme will be manufactured in India and will share Oppo’s production line in the country.
“Today, young consumers are looking for an affordable price option without compromising on the build-quality and the device performance. Realme phones will satisfy the needs of the young and online consumers through its exquisite design, leading specs, cutting-edge technology and industry-leading quality,” said Madhav Seth, Chief Executive Officer, Realme India.
“Smartphones continue to be one of our largest categories, making us the destination of choice for customers as well as brands. We are excited to partner with OPPO for the launch of their new sub-brand that appeals to savvy, young shoppers. With a focus on providing the best selection at the best prices and the convenience of fast & reliable delivery, we have and will continue to work customer backwards,” added Noor Patel, Director – Category Management, Amazon India.
Since it started operations in India, Oppo has mainly focused on the offline segment and it has only recently started making devices available from the online retail channels. With Realme, Oppo seems to be going in the direction of Xiaomi, which has always been the online-exclusive smartphone brand. However, it is not evident whether Oppo’s dual-brand strategy will work in India.
Huawei, with its Honor brand and Lenovo, with its Moto-brand, have both failed to create a major following for both the brands. In the smartphone side of business, it is Honor and Motorola that have worked for these brands and it needs to be seen how consumers respond to a new brand named Realme.
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Realme says it will launch with access to over 500 Oppo service centers across India and claims 90 percent of repair cases will be resolved within an hour. The company also notes that its devices will have a premium design instead of generic design seen among smartphones in the Rs 10,000-20,000 price segment. The company plans to share more information including first sale date and other information in the next few days.