In a blog post, the company pointed out that realme — a company set up by a former vice-president of OPPO — had first taken aim at the lowest segment of the market, gradually moved to the mid-range and was now taking aim at the premium segment which is dominated by OnePlus, Apple and Samsung.
Last year premium smartphone shipments hit a record high and grew 29% year-on-year.
The X50 Pro 5G retails for the equivalent of US$525 (A$810 or ₹37,900) and was first released in India given that its focus is India-first.
Counterpoint said that the realme pricing for this model was quite aggressive compared to similar models from other companies: in the US the Samsung Galaxy S20 5G cost US$999 while the OnePlus 7T Pro 5G is sold for US$899.
And, comparing the X50 Pro 5G pricing to a OnePlus 7T LTE, there was a difference of just $26 – the OnePlus model costs US$499. "For that extra $25, you get the latest chipset, 5G, faster charging speeds and higher resolution cameras," Counterpoint said.
The company said realme had a market share of 1.7% in 2019, but hadn't been doing too well in China, its home market.
Research analyst Parv Sharma said: "We believe realme, with its X50 Pro 5G affordable premium smartphone, has an edge to capture early 5G consumers, in 5G ready European countries. To accelerate the adoption of 5G smartphones, realme needs to partner with the operators in these markets. The company should focus on delivering the premium 5G experience to create brand value.”
Counterpoint's vice-president of Research, Neil Shah added: "Chinese smartphone brands are racing to launch 5G flagship devices in their portfolio, leveraging the latest 5G solutions from vendors such as Qualcomm. Many of these brands have strong footprint in China, India and parts of Asia. However, some of these brands will have different strategies for different markets."
In China, brands such as realme, iQOO, OPPO, vivo and Xiaomi will have 5G as a default SKU for flagship models in the first half of 2020.
“All the new models launched above US$300 this year will be 5G capable, considering Chinese operators are aggressively rolling out 5G networks this year with a target of 100 million 5G connections,” Shah said.