Here Vice President, realme and CEO, realme India, Madhav Sheth talks to LiveMint about this new smartphone and the company’s plans going forward:
Q. Realme X3 SuperZoom comes with a unique set of specifications, what audience does it cater to?
MS: Let me start by saying that from positioning itself as a disruptive smartphone manufacturer to now becoming a tech trendsetter brand, realme has come a long way. Throughout our journey, we have remained true to our promise of bringing in the most cutting-edge technology with stylish designs for our users. The launch of realme X3 SuperZoom, our best 4G flagship offering for Indian consumers who are looking for a more practical but also as powerful as our premium X50 Pro line-up, is in line with that commitment.
Post the lock-down, we can expect consumers would tend to shift from higher price segments to sub-30K price ranges, and look for a more affordable flagship experience. For them, realme X3 series are giving the one and only all-rounder package in this segment–the first-ever 7nm Snapdragon 855+ mobile platform in the segment, 64MP quad-camera with 5x Periscope Telephoto lens, 4200mAh battery with 30W Dart charge, and 120hz ultra-smooth display. All these features will be perfectly catered for the mid-premium segment audience.
Q. Does the Realme X3 SuperZoom compete with any other product in the market or does it stand on its own?
MS: If you look at the mid-premium price category, there are a bunch of options available to the customers. Although, if we compare the given options, there won’t be a significant point of difference with respect to the specifications. But it isn’t the case with realme X3 SuperZoom. As a 4G flagship, it is one of the best smartphones in the mid-premium price segment (Sub-30K). realme X3 SuperZoom offers some of the best-in class features in the market such as 64MP quad camera, 8MP 5x periscope telephoto lens, 8MP 119° ultra-wide-angle that deliver 60x zoom, and 2MP macro lens etc. In fact, we are positive that our new-add on features such as The Starry Mode and Super Nightscape 4.0 will add on to the device’s curiosity quotient among the consumers and hence will be a big hit.
Q. Why have you chosen last year’s Qualcomm flagship Snapdragon 855+ chipset for the X3 SuperZoom?
MS: Qualcomm flagship Snapdragon 855+ chipset is the latest 4G Flagship chipset and one of the fastest Snapdragon Processors ever even today. Of course, the Snapdragon 865 on realme X50 Pro 5G is the top notch among Android flagships, but for Indian consumers, 4G flagship experience is a more practical choice in the mid-premium segment, especially under INR 30K.
Q. What else does Realme have in store for Indian buyers?
MS: realme is a brand that started from India and then expanded its footprints across the world. According to the Smartphone Buyer Insights Survey 2020, we have rapidly grown our share to be amongst the top 3 most favoured brands in India.
For the year 2020, we have an ambitious roadmap. Our vision is to bring trendier and smarter lifestyle products for every Indian and our target is to generate 30 million sales in India. Hence, we have adopted a new product strategy ‘1+4+N’, that will further enhance our smartphone and AIOT product portfolio. The strategy comprises three main foundations: 1 core, 4 smart hubs and N AIoT products and under each of these three pillars, we will be offering new and innovative ecosystem products that will improve the experiences of our customers. We have already introduced realme Smart TV, realme Buds Air Neo, and realme Watch for our fans and very soon we will be introducing more cool and edgy products in our smart speaker, smartwatches, high-end TVs and smarter headphones categories.
Q. Why the sudden interest in TWS earphones? Should we expect a high-end TWS product from Realme?
MS: The future is wireless and we have seen a significant growth of the TWS market. The India TWS market posted a massive 700% growth in 2019, becoming the fastest growing market in Wearables, according to the latest research from Counterpoint’s ETO service.
At realme, we have been making consistent strides to become the most popular tech lifestyle brand in India. We forayed into the audio segment with realme Buds Air last December, which eventually became the second best-selling TWS in 2019 in less than one month’s sales. In fact, I am happy to share that we have sold more than 1 million wireless headphones so far. Hence, to further build on to the audio portfolio, we decided to launch realme Buds Q. I believe that like realme Buds Air, these new In-ear True Wireless realme Buds Q will also be loved by the users.
We are working on more premium and smarter wireless headphones. Please stay tuned.
Q. Are there any new product segments the company is interested in?
MS: As I mentioned above, we have adopted a new product strategy ‘1+4+N’, that will further enhance our smartphone and AIOT product portfolio and we will be offering new and innovative ecosystem products that will improve the experiences of our customers.
Q. Has Covid-19 changed Realme’s goals in India? If yes, how?
MS: The pandemic caught all of us by surprise and it definitely caused a few after effects, one such effect is the delay in the demands of smartphones. As per many industry reports, this slump is likely to wear off soon and glaring at the rest of the year, we are hopeful that the purchasing demand would still be massive. Therefore, we haven’t brought any changes in our existing strategies and plans, and are still maintaining a 100% Y-o-Y growth goal in 2020.
We already have plans in place with regard to upcoming products and are very much on track to bring them to our consumers over the next 10 months. We recently launched Narzo 10 series, realme Smart TV and realme Watch and now we are introducing our new realme X3 series along with a couple of other products, to cater to tech-savvy, young consumers across India.
Q. With offline sales taking a big hit due to Covid-19, what changes in strategy are in play for Realme India?
MS: At an overarching level, the smartphone market has suffered a hit due to COVID19. However, like I mentioned, we believe that 2020 market sales will face a “U” shape scenario, as reported by many industry reports too. What we can also expect is that due to the factors like lockdown, shrinkage in consumer income etc., the consumers will now pivot more towards mid-range and budget smartphones. Coincidentally, that is a price range where realme has a strong presence with best-in-class products such as the recently launched realme 6 series, and the Narzo series. So I think the growth of realme, post the current times, will be faster than any other smartphone brand in India.
Apart from that, our new 1+4+N strategy allows us to look beyond just the smartphones. We are excited about our future updates in our AIOT portfolio that will deliver an experience beyond the words.
As for the disruption of the offline channels, we think that once demand reaches back to normal, the channels will get activated too. We are still positive on our localization strategies i.e. strengthening our distribution channels to even Tier 4 & 5 towns, to cover 35,000+ mobile stores in India as well as expanding our workforce (manufacturing) to 10,000 and hiring more than 5,000 sales team members by year-end.