- Realme aims big in AIoT segment.
- Realme to open 300 to 500 smart stores in India.
- Realme hopes to acquire 15 million AIoT users.
Realme has emerged as one of the market disruptors in the smartphone category and now aims to continue its good run in India by expanding the AIoT portfolio over the next 12 months. The Chinese tech maker aims to launch over 100 AIoT products in India in 2021 and acquire 15 million users, Madhav Sheth - Vice President, realme and Chief Executive Officer, realme India & Europe told India Today Tech, in an exclusive interview.
He said that Realme aims to be grab the top spot when it comes to audio, wearable and smart TV segments, while entering newer categories. Realme also plans to open 300 to 500 smart stores across the country, which it believes will further strengthen its position in the Indian market.
"We are building realme's Ecosystem in India, to democratize leading technology and empower everyone's life. Basically, it's a smart & connected home. That is why our product team is also looking into other categories. There will surely be some surprise launches in 2021. We will also further expand our offline presence to allow more users to try realme products. We are also planning to open 300-500 realme smart stores, enabling more users to experience realme smartphones and AIoT products," Sheth said.
The company also plans to launch few flagship stores.
While Realme had launched its first pair of TWS late 2019, the expansion truly happened in 2020 where it entered the smartwatch and smart home category, getting good response from the consumers. It occupied the number 1 position in the TWS segment with 22% market share in Q2, 2020 according to Counterpoint Q2 India Hearables report. The budget Realme watch was the most shipped wearable model in 2 consecutive quarters, with a market share of 24.1% in Q3 2020 and 21.3% in Q2 2020 (IDC India Monthly Wearable Device Tracker- Oct'20). The company also managed to sell 190,000 units of smart TVs.
After the initial success in the budget wearable category, Realme on Wednesday launched two new smartwatches The Realme Watch S and S Pro that come with a different form factor and more advanced features like SPO2 sensor. For those unaware, the Realme Watch S Pro is an AMOLED round-dial smartwatch which is 5ATM waterproof, has a high-precision dual-satellite GPS sensor, and doubles up as a smarter 24/7 health assistant. Meanwhile, the Realme Watch S is a more budget-friendly variant of the same.
"Both offer segment-leading features at their respective price points and will satisfy the tech-lifestyle needs of consumers who are always on the go. I am confident that the breakthrough new products will make a contribution to our ambition to become the No.1 wearable brand and most popular tech-lifestyle brand in the near future," Sheth said.
Interestingly, the success came in an otherwise tough year, where launching and selling products wasn't that easy.
"Initially, it was a challenge as we are new entrants in the AIOT landscape and aimed to create a strong impression among consumers. There are some difficulties from launch events, to offline distribution expansion, to delivering on time, etc. Right from research and innovation, building the product pipeline, sales and distribution channels to marketing funnels, we worked out a robust strategy and established our AIOT portfolio," Sheth recalled.
He said that in spite of recent macro-headwinds due to the pandemic and subsequent lockdowns, there is a long-term demand for tech-lifestyle products that add quality and value to life. Realme observed the emerging requirements and stepped in to address market gaps with sufficient success.
Asked about the new categories Realme can enter in 2021, the company CEO said while there will be new generations of best sellers like realme Buds Air, realme Buds Q, realme smart TV, etc, Realme is also looking at home appliances.
"As connected living becomes more in vogue, certain users also expect us to launch smart, tech-savvy, stylish home appliances - from scale to electric juicer, air purifier, to even AC, etc. As a responsive brand, we will definitely keep listening to our consumers and evaluate possibilities to equip them with a 'Tech-empowered life' and enjoy its benefits and pleasures," he added.
The company also hopes to provide greater software support to its users in the coming months. One of the complaints was that the Realme Link app wasn't compatible with iOS devices, which Sheth says has been addressed. He said that the app is the centre point for all the AIoT devices and Realme will be interconnecting its ecosystem devices using the same.
"For instance, IoT Smart Connect, will allow users to control smart home devices, like Smart plug, Smart Bulbs, Smart TVs and other things using just your smart watch or earphones. This interconnection is what will eventually bring a connected lifestyle to our users and push the envelope forward in helping more and more users to make their homes and lives "Smart"," he explained.
Sheth added that Realme is planning to build more features like community, sharing tutorials and fan events etc. He said that users are encouraged to share their feedback to make it a one-stop platform and enjoy the pleasant life empowered by Tech.
While the company is expected to focus on AIoT devices, it is no mood to let go off the smartphone market either. Realme was one of the firsts to announce a smartphone with Qualcomm's Snapdragon 888 SoC and hopes to clock impressive sales in 2021 as well.
"Realme aims to be the TOP 3 Smartphone brand and No.1 Online smartphone brand by clocking 25-30 million in sales in smartphones in CY2021. We estimate 25-30 million is the minimum number that can satisfy the market demand for realme with nice word of mouth and the improvement of brand salience," Sheth concluded.