OPPO Vice President resigns to focus on new brand Realme
Realme was introduced at the beginning of May as an online-exclusive OPPO sub-brand. Its first phone, the Realme1, was very well received in India to quickly become Amazon’s “Best seller”. It managed to climb to the second place in India’s smartphone market after being sold out in just two minutes after it became available.
Now Bingzhong Li (Sky Li), former vice president of OPPO and head of OPPO’s overseas business department, is resigning his position within the company, to become global CEO of Realme. If this story seems familiar to you, you are probably right, and remember the story of Peter Lau, who left OPPO to become the CEO of OnePlus.
Realme positions itself as a young, for the youth, brand, being established on May 4, National Youth Day in China. The company’s mission is to “let the youth from all over the world enjoy the pleasant life brought by technology and beauty at a more reasonable price“. It aims to deliver “powerful performance, stylish design, sincere services and exploring more possibilities of smartphones“, which are, according to the company, high quality.
The company is sharing OPPO’s India production facilities, and, as an India-first approach, it is targeting the Rs 10,000-20,000 ($145-290) price range.
Realme founder Sky Li, former vice president of OPPO and head of OPPO's overseas business department, led OPPO to grow from the business available in 3 markets to one that covers 31 countries and regions including Southeast Asia, South Asia, Middle East, Africa and Oceania. Under the steering of Sky Li, OPPO's overseas business started from scratch and now ranks among the top three in many countries, laying a solid foundation for OPPO's steady leadership in the global smart-phone industry.
The original intention of establishment of Realme was also derived from Sky Li's a wealth of successful experience in overseas market over the years and insight into demand from the global youth. According to years of extensive field research and depth interaction with consumers, Sky Li found that although young people all over the world may have different cellphone habits, they have the same demands for mobile phone performance and design. Smart phone is not only a communication tool to them, but also a basic device for socializing, entertainment, working and studying. In addition, the appearance design of a cellphone is also be considered as an outside symbol of their personalities. However, currently similar price smart phones are far from meeting the demands for both performance and design at the same time. They often complain that mobile phones easily get stuck, or battery performance is bad, or design tends towards homogeneity. Therefore, Sky Li founded Realme, focusing on solving this problem, providing products that can be defined as ‘Power meets style’ which effectively means an integration of strong performance and trendy design.
It is for this reason that Realme's first smartphone product Realme1 won wide recognition for excellent performance and appearance immediately after its launch in India in May 2018. And it was sold out in two minutes after it became available, making the whole series Amazon's “Best seller”. It soared to the second place in India’s smartphone market by virtue of its right next monthly sales volume. This model uses an 18:9 display with 6.0-inch FHD+ resolution and is equipped with MTK Helio P60 chipset, a 13 million pixel rear camera, and an 8 million pixel front camera for selfie, and a built-in 3410mAh battery. Price of the model starts from 8990 Indian rupees (equivalent to about 885 CNY), and the premium model is priced at 13,990 Indian rupees (equivalent to about 1,396 CNY). Report from NDTV, an authoritative local Indian media shows Realme 1 has got 4.4 rate on Amazon and became the “Highest rated” product among Amazon best sellers ranking. Combined with the stunning diamond-texture body design, this model has achieved great sales performance on Amazon. According to data from Amazon, Realme 1 has been sold 400,000 sets after it lunched two months, which is a great amount to a new brand.
As a mobile phone brand for young people, Realme is also very young in terms of team composition, with the average age of team members being under 30 years old. The young and localized team has laid a solid foundation for Realme by accurately grasping the pain points of young people around the world and opening up the global market.
According to reports from Gartner, an authoritative research institution, global smartphone sales has been increased in the first quarter of 2018 after it declined in last quarter of 2017, which was the first decline in the history of the smartphone market. Global smartphone sales volume in the first quarter of 2018 was 384 million units, occupied 84% of all cellphones, an increase of 1.3% compared with the same period in 2017. The leading role of emerging markets still has strong influence to global market. For instance, the retail sales of smartphone has increased 5% to 197 million units in Central and East European market. The smartphone retail sales was 441 million units, with year-on-year growth of 2% in Middle East and Africa market. At the same time, report from the German market research company GfK shows that the sales volume in emerging Asian regions in 2017 was 232.7 million units, an increase of 8% compared with that in 2016. It is expected that the demand for smartphones in these regions will increase by 9% in 2018. Therefore, to Realme, focusing on providing products with strong performance and stylish design, the market demands is still high. As Realme is targeting global market, it will also inject fresh momentum into the global smartphone industry.