Realme 1: Oppo has finally taken its leap of faith by going online

Moving to an online exclusive model could very well the defining point for the brand Realme and in turn act as a turning point for Oppo as a company.

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Oppo’s sub-brand Realme launched its first smartphone in the Indian market, the Realme 1. The launch of this device marks a shift in Oppo’s strategy when it comes to India. This is the first time when Oppo has launched its device as online-exclusive in partnership with Amazon India to ensure that it caters the customers who want to buy the smartphone online without the hassle of going to the store and selecting the smartphone. This could very well the defining point for the brand Realme and also a turning point for Oppo as a company.

Realme 1 comes with a 6-inch screen with FHD+ resolution and it is powered by MediaTek Helio P60 processor. The device is available in three variants with 3GB RAM and 32GB internal storage, 4GB RAM and 64GB internal storage and 6GB RAM and 128GB internal storage. The base model is priced at Rs 8,990 with the second variant priced at Rs 10,990 and the top of the line option priced at Rs 13,990.

For more details about the specifications and the offers on the devices, we have covered the launch of the device in detail. We have also compared the device with the competition in the market to see how it stands against devices with similar pricing.

Earlier I mentioned the decision to go online, a turning point for Oppo. Let me elaborate on that point about how this could re-energize Oppo as a company and Realme as a force to reckon with in the smartphone market in India. To clarify, Realme is Oppo’s attempt at launching devices under a sub-brand that is focused on aggressively pricing its devices while allowing potential buyers to get them from the comfort of their home.

Plans to leverage the internet

Oppo, the Chinese smartphone maker is traditionally known as an offline brand focusing on its retail and partner chain. Anyone who is looking to buy a new smartphone and does not want to go online to buy their future smartphone can go to their local smartphone shop and find Oppo devices. In addition to Oppo, the retail devices are also filled with other offline-centric brands such as Vivo, Micromax, Lava or more recently, Nokia.

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It is not that the Oppo devices were not available online earlier. But the difference here is that with Realmi 1, the company is selling it as an online exclusive. This is likely to appeal the users who are looking at buying the device online and don’t need the hassle of going out especially to buy a smartphone considering that the competition is offering better deals online. This would push the customer to buy devices from the competition as Indian market is focused on the best bang for their buck along with the ease of access. The device will not be available offline which both has its pros and cons.

Aggressive pricing and newer audience

One of the main reason that is tied to going the online route is that not Oppo will directly be selling to the customer without any middlemen and distributors involved. By partnering with Amazon India, Oppo will not have to facilitate the distribution of its devices in the market. These parties along the supply chain force the companies selling online to push the prices up. This makes them comparatively expensive to more aggressively priced competition. This is not to say that offline presence is bad, but aggressively priced devices that are online would pull in more customers as evident by Q1 market share of the smartphones in India with Xiaomi leading the charge.

Xiaomi has been focusing on online sales only expanding its focus towards offline with its own retail chain. This allows the company to maintain the razor-sharp pricing pulling more overall sales. Realme would prove to be a similar trump card for Oppo as the company already has a strong offline presence with its primary Oppo-branded devices.

  • Published Date: May 15, 2018 4:59 PM IST