Realme's journey, from obscure sub-brand to Coca-Cola phone maker
Plus other news from this week in tech hardware
Welcome to Multicore for Thursday, February 16th.
I'll be rounding up the week's news later on, but first let's talk about Realme, another BBK company that doesn't get much coverage in the West despite selling huge numbers of phones in India and beyond. It just put out one of the more unusual branding collaborations in recent memory.
Multicore is a reader-supported publication. Paid posts come out every Tuesday and Thursday. Please consider a free or paid subscription!
Generally, if I see Coca-Cola's logo on something, my assumption is that the Coca-Cola Company paid for it to be there one way or another. Realme, however, has just put out an extensively Coke-branded version of its Realme 10 Pro in India for Rs. 20,999 (about $250), an Rs. 1,000 premium over the regular device.
I imagine most of my readers are with me in not particularly wanting Coca-Cola's logo plastered all over their most personal computer. Realme says this collaboration is targeted at young people, though, and who am I to say it won't work. I remember wishing I drank enough Coke to collect 60 ringpulls for a Coca-Cola-branded Ericsson phone back in the year 2000, so no judgement here.
I had the opportunity to check out the new device, and well, Realme can't be faulted for committing to the bit. The colorway is undeniably striking, and the UI is Coca-Cola through and through, from the custom red icons to the fizzing bubbles on the lock screen when you connect a fast charger. There's an "'80s Cola" photo filter for added nostalgia, and the camera shutter noise even (kind of) sounds like opening a bottle.
If you're not familiar with Realme, you may be wondering how on earth it got to the point of making Coca-Cola phones. But the company's rapid rise in recent years is instructive as to just how competitive smartphone markets outside the West can be.
Keep reading with a 7-day free trial
Subscribe to Multicore to keep reading this post and get 7 days of free access to the full post archives.