Chinese smartphone brand Realme is making a push to grab a larger share of the world’s largest smartphone market with its latest handset, the GT Neo 5 SE, which is designed to target gaming enthusiasts. The new smartphone, priced from 1,999 yuan ($291) in China, is aimed at popularizing affordable gaming smartphones.
Realme’s President, Xu Qi, said that the company’s offline service outlets have already covered 80 percent of prefecture-level cities across the country, and that it aims to achieve 100 percent coverage by the end of this year. This aggressive expansion strategy comes as shipments of smartphones in China fell 13.2 percent year-on-year to 285.8 million units in 2022, according to market research firm International Data Corp. This marks the first time in a decade that China’s phone shipments have fallen below 300 million units.
Launched in the middle of 2018, Realme has quickly gained popularity in India, and then grew to become a major smartphone vendor in the world, chiefly relying on its popularity in e-commerce sales channels and its resonance with young consumers. The company is now looking to replicate this success in China, where it faces intense competition from domestic brands like Huawei, Xiaomi, Oppo, and Vivo.
Realme’s move to target the gaming market is a smart one, as gaming has become a major driver of smartphone sales globally. With the rise of mobile gaming, manufacturers are now creating phones that are specifically designed for gamers, with features such as high refresh rate screens, powerful processors, and large batteries.
Overall, Realme’s aggressive expansion strategy and focus on affordable gaming smartphones could help it gain a larger share of China’s smartphone market, which is expected to rebound in 2023 after a difficult year in 2022.