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Realme increases its research budget by 58 per cent to boost phones quality

Sky Li -Founder and CEO

Realme, the world’s fastest-growing smartphone brand, has announced plans to increase its annual research and development budget by 58 per cent to anchor the stability of the business as part of its long-term growth strategy.

The increased investment will boost technology innovation and the quality of smartphones shipped into Kenya and other markets beginning next year- as the brand positions itself to become the first choice for young people.

“This means you can expect even more exceptional Number Series phones moving forward, as our Number Series is our “essential” product line, packing essential tech into a stylish package with an accessible price tag,” said realme Chief Executive Officer, Sky Li.

Since it began operations four years ago, realme has recorded a stellar performance, headlined by 100 million smartphone sales across 61 markets in three years- propelling it to the world’s top five brands in 30 markets.

Unique technology, leap-forward performance and trend-setting designs pushed the brand’s popularity among the GenZs in emerging and developed markets higher. Coupled with a robust e-commerce distribution strategy saw the firm record a historical year-on-year growth of 548 per cent in 2021.

GT Master Edition, realme’s first high-end product launched in 2022 is already enjoying record sales in Kenyan and other markets across the world, while in other countries we have the GT Neo series.

While significant investments will be placed on research and development, realme will not expand to new markets in the next 18 months as the adoption of a unified global product line will reduce product launches by 35 per cent in 2023.

 Instead, it will focus on consolidating China and Indian markets with ‘tens of millions of shipments’ and creating 15 markets including Kenya with ‘millions of shipments,’ over the next three years.

“We call this new market focus our “Market Cultivation” strategy, which will place particular focus on our two 10-million shipment markets while working towards building a core of fifteen 1-million shipment markets,” said Li.

realme defied global supply chain disruptions to make it in the list of top 5 handset makers with record shipments to Africa. While annual Global smartphone shipments fell by 11 per cent to 311.2 million units in Q1 2022, realme was recording booming sales in Kenya and other markets on the continent.

realme recorded a strong start of the year, marked by a 550 per cent growth in the global sale of its premium handset range and stellar performance of its Affordable super smartphone in Kenya and other markets.

Currently, realme has seven markets with shipments exceeding a million units annually.

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