Amid calls to boycott Chinese products, smartphone maker, Realme, has announced that it will enter the smart speaker category in India.
The announcement is part of a larger change to Realme’s strategy in India, which the company calls '1+4+N'. “We will soon introduce more cool products in our smart speaker category, along with stylish smartwatches and high-end TVs and smarter headphones," said Madhav Sheth, chief executive officer (CEO) of Realme India.
Realme will compete with the likes of Amazon.com , Google Inc, Lenovo and Apple in the smart speaker space. While Amazon leads the space with its Alexa-powered speakers, Google has been selling Google Assistant-led devices for a while.
Both Amazon and Google have been able to integrate their voice assistants into speakers from other companies such as the Bose Home Speaker 500, and it is likely that Realme will also use one of these assistants, if not both.
The new strategy covers the company’s phones, Internet of Things (IoT) enabled products and more. The '1' in the strategy refers to '1 Core', which caters to the smartphone market. Sheth said phones have always been the 'core of Realme’s product portfolio and 'will be the main centre' of its Artificial Intelligence of Things (AIoT) ecosystem.
The second part of the strategy includes 'four smart hubs', which refers to four sub categories, including smart TV, smart earphones, smart watch and smart speaker. The company already sells a smart TV in India, alongside truly wireless earphones and a smartwatch called the Realme Watch.
'N' stands for various peripheral products that Realme will launch, some of which have already been rolled out. The company said it includes both AIoT and lifestyle products, like in-car chargers, luggage cases, backpacks and smart home gadgets. “In fact, along with our Realme X3 series (set for launch on June 25), we are launching our multi-function travel backpack, Realme Adventurer Backpack, for the very first time," said Sheth.
Sheth said the company will increase its workforce strength to 10,000 in India by the end of the year. It will also expand distribution channels to tier-4 and-5 towns and hire over 5,000 sales team members.