Oppo’s smartphones have a major presence in offline markets as opposed to online, which results in higher selling costs of the smartphones due to logistics, seller margins, and various other costs associated with selling phones in physical stores.
While Oppo surely did well in the offline market in India, the online segment belonged to Xiaomi, Honor, Moto and various other Chinese OEMs who would cut down on seller margins and advertising costs, and price their devices in an extremely competitive manner. In short, the price to performance ratio of these smartphones being sold online, was much higher when compared to Oppo’s offline offerings. Or to put it in simpler words, Oppo’s smartphones were in no way value for money compared to the online competition.
Cut to 2018, Oppo came up with a sister brand, Realme, which promised to offer smartphones with extremely competitive specs at a considerably lower price. While Realme had a completely different strategy and an identity of their own, they still used Oppo’s branding as well as software, Color OS, on their first smartphone, the Realme 1. However, former Vice President of Oppo, Li Bingzhong announced today on Weibo that he would be taking over the brand Realme as a separate entity.
This move comes after Realme’s initial sales in India seemed pretty good as they reportedly sold around 400,000 units in the first two months of launch, accounting for 1% of the Indian market in the second quarter this year. This also pushed Oppo’s overall market share to 10% as it was languishing at 6% and 8% in earlier quarters. It would be interesting to see if Realme goes the Stock Android way or develops its own Android skin.
This move is reminiscent of another smartphone brand that was once a part of Oppo, but then split to form its own entity, OnePlus. Back in 2013, Liu Zuohu, General Manager of Oppo’s business unit officially founded OnePlus under his leadership. We all know what position OnePlus stands in today globally. If there’s anything to go by the history books, Realme might soon enter global markets and focus on producing more smartphones, and maybe someday, it might be the OnePlus of budget smartphones? Oh, and do we now know why the OnePlus X2 was ditched?
Update: It’s official!