The overview of the smartphone war after Q3 / 2019 brings a lot of surprises. Huawei, after the US embargo, still stands by "taking blood" from its Chinese compatriots. Samsung, despite strong competition from Apple and Chinese smartphones, still saw sales increase 11%, solidifying its leading position. Apple, despite its well-received generation of the iPhone 11 Pro, finally saw iPhone sales "evaporate" an additional 3 million units over the same period in 2018.
But even more surprising is probably a star that just brightened – Realme. By the end of the third quarter of the year, OPPO's subsidiary has witnessed growth of nearly 800%. From an obscure name, Realme has now become the largest brand outside of the familiar top 6 (Samsung, Huawei, Apple, Xiaomi and OPPO / Vivo).
Realme's success comes from the cheaper price of Xiaomi, higher configuration than Xiaomi and the quality of crafting on par with OPPO.
It's not hard to see where Realme's miraculous growth comes from. Realme C2 is priced in India at only about 2 million; Realme 3 costs 3 million. This latest Realme smartphone is the X2 Pro with Snapdragon 855+ chip, Super AMOLED screen and 4 cameras with a maximum resolution of 64MP at only $ 400. At a more expensive price, Xiaomi's Mi 9 uses only the "regular" Snapdragon 855 instead of the 855+ update like Realme.
In other words, Realme is successfully applying Xiaomi's unique strategy: dumping the configuration in exchange for sales. You can even believe that Realme has taken away the soul of Xiaomi … Xiaomi buyers have no reason but the high configuration on the cheap price. Now, they can switch to Realme "in one note" for the same reason. Realme even comes from BBK, which already has a pretty good reputation for hardware quality on brands like OPPO, OnePlus and Vivo.
In the third quarter, Realme sold a total of 10.2 million smartphones, an increase of 8.9 million units over the same period last year. On the opposite side, Xiaomi saw a decline in sales of 2 million units. In India – the market is probably the second most important (after China) for Xiaomi, Realme has promptly reached the fourth position. If not for the appearance of Realme, millions of users prefer high configuration. bargains in the world's second most densely populated market are probably coming to Xiaomi.
In the face of global difficulties, Realme is eating up all the potential growth of other brands – including Xiaomi.
More than ever, Xiaomi desperately needs these growth numbers. Xiaomi's global sales and market share have been declining since the second quarter, in part because an important cause could be the "back" effect of the US-China trade war: Chinese consumers turned to support. Huawei and other Chinese brands such as OPPO, Vivo and Xiaomi. Forcing Chinese firms (other than Huawei) to look overseas, typically India and Southeast Asia.
But India and Southeast Asia are also key markets as OPPO / BBK is available for Realme. And by focusing on new markets, Realme has been devalued by more devaluation eat all the potential growth of the smartphone market: globally, Xiaomi dropped by 2 million, OPPO fell by 1 million, Vivo fell by 1 million, and Realme surged by nearly 9 million. Once again, that growth would have been in Xiaomi's hands if Realme didn't show up and get in the way. Realme has taken Xiaomi's necessary figures to convince investors that the smartphone dumping configuration actually has a future.
As investors increase pressure, can Xiaomi devalue further to rival Realme?
The possible way of life for Xiaomi is extremely precarious. Competition up (near) high? Not to mention the iPhone or Galaxy, OPPO Reno and OnePlus have been very successful in this segment already. Internet redirection? Probably never, because Xiaomi users who were hesitant to buy smartphones would dare to buy virtual goods.
In the end, Xiaomi has only a way to return to the philosophy of configuration dumping, "all hands" more to confront Realme. But in recent quarters, Xiaomi shares have continuously plummeted, investors are increasingly demanding about the future earnings prospects. If Xiaomi continues to push Redmi into the "all-hands" configuration frame, Xiaomi will be even more exhausted.
And Realme has OPPO, with BBK parent group behind. Last quarter, total sales of the BBK brands were close to approaching Samsung at No. 1 in the world. If there is a long war, Xiaomi will surely fall under the knife of BBK – the knife named Realme.