The smartphone company on a mission to democratise 5G

Disrupter smartphone brand realme is spearheading the effort to bring 5G to more people
5G point on mast

The growth of 5G coverage has been encouraging, with the technology enjoying strong adoption across markets like China, the US and Europe. In Q1 2021, just two years after the launch of the world’s first commercial 5G network, almost one out of every three smartphones sold was 5G.

As of May this year, 60 countries around the world had launched 5G, 12 of which are emerging markets.

However, barriers remain for the widespread adoption of the new technology among consumers, such as the affordability of the devices, a lack of digital literacy and skills, and the costs of mobile data.

The need to democratise 5G is the driving force behind one smartphone disrupter brand. realme is on a mission to make cutting-edge technologies accessible to everyone.
While realme may not yet be a recognisable brand among UK consumers, its message has been gaining huge traction worldwide. Established in 2018, realme is the fastest-growing smartphone brand globally. It has a global user base of more than 70 million and is now the world’s seventh-largest smartphone company.

By empowering the young, we hope they can, in turn, become the forerunners of 5G adoption and help lead more people into the 5G era

The company has an ambitious goal of enabling 100 million young consumers to use a 5G smartphone within the next three years.

“realme believes that 5G is for the younger generation – internet natives who are looking for ways to connect and express themselves beyond the physical world,” says Madhav Sheth, vice president of realme Global and CEO of realme India & Europe.

“By empowering the young, we hope they can, in turn, become the forerunners of 5G adoption and help lead more people into the 5G era.”

Meeting consumer demand

How is realme aiming to popularise 5G? So far it has focused on offering high-end, high-spec products at surprisingly affordable prices.

In 2020, realme launched 14 5G devices in 21 markets. By 2022, the company aims to increase its 5G offerings to more than 20. Moreover, realme plans to take the industry lead in launching a 5G mobile phone at a $100 price point in the next few years, a move that is set to further accelerate 5G adoption, especially across rapidly emerging economies.

“Our 5G products have covered flagship to entry-level,” says Sheth. “We mostly sell our products online, which always helps to control final prices. We maintain our focus on R&D and design, not marketing or other areas, so we keep extra costs under control, so the consumer won´t be impacted in the final price of the product.”

However important to the consumer, Sheth believes price is not the deciding factor in realme’s plan to democratise emerging technologies like 5G.

“realme’s goal was never to grab market share or ranking, and realme will not blindly follow any other brand. Instead, we will provide products which truly meet consumer demands,” he says.
To further support the global adoption of 5G products, realme is set to establish seven R&D centres around the world in 2021, dedicated to exploring 5G technologies and products. At present, 90% of realme’s R&D resources have been converted to 5G technology and products. In the next two years, realme will invest $300 million in 5G technology research and product development, as well as in promoting global 5G popularisation.

Additionally, realme is soon to launch its latest “Flagship Killer” device, realme GT, into global markets.

“The realme GT exemplifies the company’s ‘Dare to Leap’ spirit by bringing cutting-edge design and technology, capturing the original essence of the Grand Touring (GT) experience for young people,” says Sheth.

Taking pride in its status as an industry disrupter, realme is going all-in on 5G in its efforts to change the world.

Says Sheth: “As we progress into the future, realme will continue to drive large-scale adoption of 5G technology and products, break new ground with exciting innovations and create a promising and exciting tech lifestyle for every youth.”

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