Oppo is a Chinese smartphone maker that grew rapidly via offline sales in China’s lower-tier cities and rural areas, with budget phones that appeal to young users. Recently, it's started releasing high-end flagships.
Oppo spinoff brand Realme announced that it’s saying goodbye to 4G, at least in China. Brand founder and CEO Sky Li announced on Weibo on Tuesday that it won’t release any phones without 5G in its home market in 2020.
Realme’s bold bet on 5G comes after China started rolling out the next-generation network in November. But the move might be premature. IDC’s recent report predicts that only 14% of smartphones shipped worldwide in 2020 will be 5G. This might be why Realme didn’t say anything about cutting 4G phones from other markets. And the dearth of 5G countrywide in China means 5G phones still have to support older networks.
But over in India, Realme has grown rapidly. It’s become the fourth most popular smartphone brand in the country even though it's only existed for a year. Thanks to this, Realme is now considering becoming an independent brand from Oppo, which could make it similar to its popular sibling brand OnePlus.
Li also announced that 5G phones are about to get cheaper. The company is preparing to release its first 5G phone, the X50, but the price is not yet known.