“We sell phones. We don’t sell ads.” Well, Realme India CEO Madhav Sheth made this sly remark against Xiaomi’s MIUI skin at the Realme 3 Pro launch last year. However, if you have been keeping track, you would know that Realme has now itself decided to introduce ads into ColorOS (now rebranded to Realme UI, based on ColorOS) on their smartphones.
Sheth has now walked back on his statement from the aforementioned launch and if it’s any consolation, he has now offered an explanation as to why your Realme phone will show ads going forward. In the latest #AskMadhav episode, attached below, the first questions posed to Sheth is – “Why is Realme introducing ads on its phones?”
Well, the answer is simple and exactly what you might have expected. Sheth states that Realme needs to ‘run a sustainable business’ while still offering a high-quality product at competitive prices. “We are continuously trying to make our products affordable for you guys,” he adds and it looks like the ads are essential for staying competitive in the uber-competitive budget segment in India.
Ads in Realme UI are one of the revenue streams that will add to the company’s profits while it continues to offer its smartphone at cut-throat prices. Realme is offering users a “One Tap Solution” to disable ads across the UI and Sheth continues to add that, “If you check and compare, we are very conservative and selective about ads placements. Our margin here is still far below from some other brands.”
Though Realme has backtracked on its previous statement to not introduce ads on its smartphones, it is sort-of unavoidable for these brands due to reduced margins and cut-throat rivalry among budget players in India. I know, we as users will have to suffer the consequences of this move but the task of keeping its ads unintrusive and restricted to a few select locations in the UI falls on the company.
In our Realme UI hands-on video, we found the option to disable ads was missing in action from the settings menu but we will have to wait and see how Realme handles the same going forward. Will there be immediate backlash from consumers (leading to even slimmer market share as compared to the last quarter) or no? Tell us your opinion in the comments below.