RealMe Could Be Huawei’s Replacement

realme smartphone huawei replacement

As all of the talk about trade relations between the USA and China at the moment is about TikTok and WeChat, it’s easy to forget where the problems began. The first Chinese company to be subjected to a ban by the Trump administration wasn’t TikTok; it was Huawei. The Chinese smartphone manufacturer had made huge inroads across Europe and the United States of America before the President hit the company with sanctions. Since then, Huawei’s place in the market has been in severe jeopardy. New Huawei phone handsets are available in American stores, but they’re denied access to Google’s Play Store. That means they come without access to many of the apps that smartphone users now take for granted, and calls into question the viability of Huawei phones as an option for the discerning modern customer. 

Until these problems began, Huawei had carved itself a niche as a budget phone company that offered the same quality you'd get with an iPhone or a Samsung but at a much lower price. Huawei phones were (and are) fast and powerful, and come with great cameras. With Huawei on the market, there was far less reason to consider spending an extra two hundred dollars or more on a device made by Apple, Samsung, or Google. Some conspiratorially-minded people even believe that Huawei's success, and the threat they posed to the "established" players on the market, might have had more to do with the ban than the spying and surveillance accusations levied against the company. 

The restrictions placed on Huawei's western activities probably mean the end of the company's relevance outside of their home country, but there's a new player on the market, and we suspect you've never heard of them. They're called Realme, and up until two years ago, they didn't exist. Within their first twelve months of operations, they broke into the top ten phone handset sellers in the world based on sales. During the first quarter of this year, their performance improved more than one hundred and fifty percent compared to the first quarter of 2020. The overwhelming majority of its sales happen in Asia, but it’s rapidly growing out of Asia and into India. From there, presuming it doesn’t run into the same problems that torpedoed Huawei’s ambitions, there’s no reason why Europe and the rest of the western world couldn’t be next. 

You might be wondering how all of this could be possible for a company with barely two years of trading under its belt. The fact of the matter is that the two-year figure is a little misleading. RealMe only formed two years ago, but the company is an offshoot of the much-larger BBK Electronics Corporation. You may not know the name, but you'll know their brands. BKK is the company behind Vivo, Oppo, and OnePlus. Although RealMe is technically a standalone company, in reality, it enjoys full access to all of Oppo's intellectual property, and all of Oppo's factory production facilities. Those are resources that would be well beyond the reach of any start-up company inside its first two years, and having access to them goes a long way towards explaining how RealMe has gone from not existing to outselling Samsung in several territories in such a short space of time. On the global stage, it's already outselling LG and Tecno, with Lenovo next up and not fat ahead. 

Huawei has already taught us that market-leading features don't always have to come with market-leading prices when it comes to smartphone tech, but RealMe has taken Huawei's ball and run with it even further. The RealMe X2 Pro was the first phone in the world to feature a 64-megapixel camera, and yet it went to market with a price equivalent to only four hundred dollars. The company's flagship phone, the RealMe X50 Pro 5G, is a 5G-ready beast of a handset with quad-cameras, superzoom, more storage than anyone would ever be able to use in a phone's lifetime, and an HDR OLED screen. Even with all that tech, its price is only six hundred dollars. That undercuts the widely-acclaimed OnePlus 8 while simultaneously outperforming it in every technical category. If it makes it into Europe - which it already is doing through re-sale sites and Amazon - it could blow every other budget phone out of the water and cause chaos in the markets. 

When we say "cause chaos in the markets", we're aware that the markets are already in chaos. The smartphone market has been more volatile than the average online slots game in the past twelve months, with surprise releases like the iPhone SE 2 and the Google Pixel 4a as well as the Xiaomi Mi9, the majority of which would cost you less than the value of the average Online Slots UK jackpot to acquire. Sticking with the metaphor, though, we don't think anyone has more chance of predicting which way the wind is going to blow with market share for mobile phone handset providers than players at online slots websites have of predicting when their next win is going to arrive. Right now, everyone appears to be holding their breath and waiting for the release of the iPhone 12, after which there will be a "reaction" phase as manufacturers attempt to compete with it. RealMe is now yet another company that will be attempting to eat into Apple's market share. 

There is, of course, a potential bump in the road for RealMe as it grows. It's a Chinese company, and as we said right at the start of this article, Chinese companies aren't the flavor of the week in the United States of America at the moment. There are already bans in place for Huawei and WeChat, and a probable ban is coming for TikTok. There have been suggestions that the Trump administration might yet look at a total ban on all Chinese technology firms. If that were to happen, we'd likely see the ban replicated in parts of Europe, and that might stop RealMe dead in its tracks. Even then, though, RealMe might not care. The focus of its operations is India, where there are several hundred million smartphone users. Between India, China, and the other Asian markets it already operates in, it already makes more than enough money to survive and thrive. Even if RealMe phones never turn up in your local store, they're likely here to stay on the world stage anyway.

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