Last year, when a global chip shortage forced many smartphone makers to delay launches, upstart Chinese brand Realme took a gambit in India. With processors from global giants such as Qualcomm Inc. in short supply, Realme decided to buy them from a relatively unknown Shanghai manufacturer to be able to keep churning out new handset models.
The move paid off, boosting the four-year-old newcomer’s sales and helping it reach the No. 3 position in the fast-growing market with about 600 million smartphone users. Only Samsung Electronics Co. and Xiaomi Corp. sold more devices in India in the latest quarter, with Realme closing in.