Realme, owned by Chinese consumer hardware giant BBK Electronics which also owns the Oppo and Vivo brands, said it had reached the 200 million mark in the second quarter.

Data from market analytics firm Counterpoint Research shows that only four companies - Vivo, Huawei, Samsung and Apple - have taken less time to ship the same number of units. In total, just 14 companies globally which have shipped over 200 million phones to date.

"We came into existence when there were over 700 smartphone brands in the world," said Xu Qi, Realme's chief marketing officer. "We are extremely proud that we have been able to be in the world's top 10 brands for the past five years."

According to Counterpoint Research, there were more than 700 phone brands in 2017 and that number has plunged to about 250 in September.

Xu said Realme was ready to take on premium phones with its upcoming launch, the Realme GT 5 Pro, which will be among the first handsets to feature Qualcomm's latest high-end chip the Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 and Sony's new Lytia camera sensor.

Xiaomi has recently released the Xiaomi 14 Pro which also runs on the new Snapdragon 8 Gen 3.

(Reporting by Josh Ye; Editing by Miral Fahmy)

By Josh Ye