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Realme set to join the big league, plans to launch premium smartphones over Rs 50,000

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Chinese smartphone manufacturer Realme will soon enter the high-end market, CEO Sky Li announced on Twitter. The new phones will carry a list price of $800 (approx. Rs 59,500), Li, who founded the company, said.

The development will see Realme, till now a budget and mid-range smartphone manufacturer, compete with Samsung and Apple that dominate the premium segment. BBK Electronics, which owns Realme, has tried to break the Samsung-Apple duopoly with Vivo, OnePlus, and Oppo in the high-end segment with distinct offerings. However, none of the three brands have successfully managed to generate mass demand for their flagship products.



While Li’s tweet announces Realme’s foray into the premium market, he has not revealed any further details, such as when the company would launch its first flagship device. A report from China earlier in November suggested that the first Realme flagship smartphone, priced at CNY 5,000 (approx. Rs 58,200), would hit the markets in early 2022.



Realme joined the smartphone market in May 2018 as an Oppo subsidiary. It separated from its sister brand shortly after with the launch of the Realme 1 and entered the market independently.

Realme currently competes against Xiaomi, its sub-brand Redmi, and spin-off Poco, Samsung, and Infinix. Its smartphone range starts from a lowly Rs 7,499, going up to Rs 37,999.

Since its debut, Realme has shipped a cumulative 100 million smartphones. A Counterpoint report said the company registered a 135% on-year growth in the second quarter of 2021. Realme is fourth among India’s top-five smartphone vendors. However, IDC reported that its share of the Indian market declined 5% in the third quarter.

Despite that setback, Realme has big plans for India, having expanded its offline presence with 200 exclusive stores. It plans to expand its footprint to 1,000 exclusive stores in the country.

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