While India’s first 5G network is still in the testing phase, Realme has identified 5G as a growing trend – the company quotes Google data that says 5G-related searches have gone up 70% between May 2020 and May this year, YouTube searches are up 115%.
The company points out that since the upgrade cycle is around 2 years, buying a 5G phone now means that you’ll get to use it on a 5G network before you move on to the next model. According to a report by Ericsson (which is working with Indian carriers to build out their networks), 26% of mobile subscribers in the country will use a 5G network by the end of 2026.
Realme wants to make 5G phones affordable and earlier this year it said that all of its phones costing INR20,000 and above ($270/€225) will be compatible with next-gen networks. Now the company has revised that figure down to INR 15,000 ($200/€170).
This is already happening as the Narzo 30 5G that launched a couple of weeks ago costs INR 16,000. And it is not the bottom either, Realme is working on developing 5G phones costing less than INR 10,000 ($135/€115).
There will be high-end models too, with multiple Realme GT phones set to launch in India this quarter. The Realme GT 5G will arrive before Diwali and the recently-launched X7 Max 5G is a version of the GT Neo.
The company has already found success in its endeavor – according to Counterpoint Research data, Realme is the #1 5G smartphone brand in India where it held 28% of the market in May.
Realme has committed $300 million over 2 years to develop its 5G offerings. In fact, 90% of the R&D budget goes to 5G products.