Chinese smartphone challenger Realme’s first 5G flagship model is poised to disrupt the global market

Smartphone market challenger Realme continues moving up the ladder in the 5G market with the launch of its latest device, according to Engadget. Just one month after launching its first 5G smartphone – the mid-range Realme X50 5G, exclusive to China – the company announced its first 5G flagship for the global market: the high-end Realme X50 Pro 5G.

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The device is powered by the same Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 chipset that’s featured in nearly all flagship 5G devices, including Samsung’s recently announced Galaxy S20 smartphone. Realme will initially launch the X50 Pro 5G in Europe, China, and India; and while pricing isn’t confirmed for each market, the company told The Verge that the starting price will be around €550 to €650 ($600 to $700), making it one of the most affordable 5G flagships on the market.

In 2020, Realme plans to introduce at least five additional 5G smartphones as part of its broader plan to foster a robust and comprehensive 5G ecosystem spanning every price point of the market.

Realme’s early strategy to focus on emerging markets has already proven successful, and we expect its shift to tackle the 5G global smartphone market to pay off. Realme spun out as an independent entity from the world’s No. 4 smartphone company, Oppo, in May 2018. By Q3 2019, Realme had become the fastest-growing smartphone brand globally – even though more than 80% of its device sales in Q3 were concentrated in India and Indonesia.

But as Realme continued to expand its presence in Europe – which it only entered last June – the company has successfully appealed to consumers’ desire for premium features on affordable devices. For instance, within just one month of its launch in Spain, Realme became the country’s fifth-largest smartphone brand by shipments. As Realme continues to roll out new devices in Europe, specifically 5G models, we think the company will rapidly grow its market share in the global smartphone market.

However, Realme has ambitions for tech that extend far beyond the smartphone – making it a company other connectivity and tech players should keep on their radars. When announcing the X50 Pro 5G, Realme also disclosed that its corporate strategy for 2020 will center on “smartphone + AIoT.”

Realme plans to build out its business around three usage categories – personal, home, and travel – and will release more than 20 AIoT (that is, AI-enabled IoT) products in 2020. For example, Realme plans to launch its own wearable brand that would include smartwatches and headphones; it’s also developing a line of home devices such as smart TVs, smart speakers, soundbars, and connected home appliances.

Given the rapid uptake of its smartphones, consumer interest will likely translate to its upcoming product lines, as long as Realme continues to strategically balance cost and quality.

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