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Now realme is leaving the German market (Update: Statement)
- After OPPO, OnePlus, and vivo, realme is now putting its smartphone business on hold in Germany.
- This move is likely due to the Nokia patent dispute, which was awarded in favor of Nokia.
Update, June 27, 2023 (04:08 AM ET): realme has provided us with a statement reaffirming that they are still available in the German market.
realme is available in German market, and can be purchased from both online and offline. The product software update policy is the same as normal.
As we can see, older realme devices (launched in 2022) continue to be on sale on Amazon.de, although we could not locate Realme’s German website. Realme has a common European landing page, with links to its regional pages for countries like France, Spain, and Italy, but Germany remains curiously missing from this list.
Original article, June 21, 2023 (07:28 AM ET): Finnish equipment supplier Nokia won a significant patent dispute in Germany against OPPO, which forced OPPO and OnePlus to stop selling their smartphones in the German market. Following OPPO’s footsteps came vivo, with the company shuttering its smartphone business in the country for the foreseeable future. Now realme has closed its smartphone business in the country, marking the complete exit of BBK Electronics from Germany.
According to a report from Nextpit, realme has confirmed to the publication that it is exiting the German market. The company is said to concentrate on its core markets in other European countries, putting the German business on hold until license negotiations with Nokia reach a positive conclusion.
We’ve reached out to realme for a comment and will update this article when we hear back from them.
Anyone following the OPPO vs Nokia saga would not be surprised by this departure. Nokia, the Finnish equipment supplier (not to be confused with HMD Global, which has licensed the Nokia smartphone brand), holds key patents related to WLAN connections. German courts have ruled that OPPO has infringed upon these patents in its smartphones, so OPPO had to pull its products from the country.
We presume the ruling would also give rise to similar reliefs against OnePlus, vivo, and realme. These four companies are part of China’s BBK Electronics group and could be similarly affected.
Existing customers using products from these companies will likely continue receiving software updates and have their warranty obligations honored. However, pending license negotiations with Nokia, do not hold your breath on their phones to Germany soon. If you want to purchase a great smartphone in Germany for now, your options have shrunk down to Apple, Samsung, Google, and Xiaomi for now.