Oppo Launches an Online-Only Sub-Brand Realme; First Smartphone Launching on May 15

BY Rajesh Pandey

Published 1 May 2018

Oppo today launched a new online-only sub-brand in India called Realme. The company will be selling its Realme handsets through Amazon India.

The first product in the lineup will be the Realme 1 which will be unveiled by the company on May 15. It will feature a unique Diamond Black design to help it set itself apart from other smartphones in the market.

Oppo aims to offer devices Made for and in India priced between Rs 10,000 to Rs 20,000 under its Realme brand.

Oppo is launching this new sub-brand to take on Xiaomi’s Redmi lineup and Huawei’s Honor sub-brand. In fact, Realme sounds very similar to Xiaomi’s budget Redmi lineup.

Xiaomi has been dominating India’s budget smartphone market with its Redmi lineup which is primarily sold online. Oppo’s approach is similar to Huawei which launched its online-only sub-brand Honor in India a few years ago. The company primarily sells budget devices under its Honor brand, and recently, it has been able to make inroads into the market with the launch of some impressive models like the Honor 7X and Honor 9 Lite.

At one point in time, Oppo was making heavy inroads into the Indian smartphone market with its aggressive offline expansion. However, over the last one year, the company has seen its sales in India crash due to the launch of some particularly sub-par models and Xiaomi’s aggressive retail expansion.

The success of Xiaomi’s Realme lineup of smartphones depends on their price-to-performance ratio, and if they can compete against the likes of Xiaomi and Honor in terms of specifications or not. Oppo’s phones have largely done well in India due to their selfie-centric approach and wide offline availability but that trick no longer seems to be working for the company.