Back at CEs at the start of the year, we saw Asus make waves in a big way with their follow-up device to the previous year’s Zenfone device, which was powered by an Intel chip. For this year, to keep in line with the hopeful success of its successor, Asus unveiled the Zenfone 2, which again featured an Intel chip, paired with 4 gigabytes of RAM, a PowerVr graphics processor, as well as the gorgeous 5.5″ display panel showing off the fresh new Zen UI running atop Lollipop, Android 5.0. the device was obviously aimed at higher-end and higher-income countries in the Eastern hemisphere, with many of us Westerners hoping for some sort of import possibility for a reasonable price. But, as with any high-end device, there will inevitably be lower-end models to allow for greater market share and more consumers getting to own a great piece of technology, regardless of which manufacturer’s name is on it.
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The Taiwan-based Asus is doing just that, in a very smart move, with the incorporation of both Qualcomm and MediaTek processors for a middle- and lower-tier device, which will give consumers the lower and even more affordable prices that Asus’ products often lack because of any number of various price-raising factors. What was also revealed were some expansion of sales plans for the Zenfone 2, as well as a hypothetical breakdown of the way that sales and distribution of the three various configurations of the device will be or end up.
Out of Taipei, we heard straight from Asus themselves that the two new chipset manufacturers would be joining one the device has launched in March. From there, Qualcomm’s processors would be used for the wider range of markets, who might not have the finances to pay for the likely-high price of the Zenfone 2 based on Intel’s processor. From there, MediaTek will provide the processors to power the more affordable version with 3G, rather than Qualcomm’s 4G capabilities, to countries like India where budget and functionality have to be in sync to get a device correctly sold.
From these possible steps to come, we also get a breakdown of how the distribution will look for Asus’ Zenfone 2 variant distribution will be. Looking at it, we’re likely to see up to half of the phones shipped and sold having Qualcomm processors, with Intel and MediaTek processors taking about half each of the remaining number. This makes sense, as Qualcomm’s processors are revered by many consumers as both high quality and reliable, while MediaTek is renowned for affordable pricing and Intel, being a computer and tablet processor manufacturing company, will provide the power, at a price, for the higher-end Zenfone 2 variant.
It will be great for Asus, if they can get this three-way split to work, because they’ll have the primarily 3G markets covered with a MediaTek offering, the 4G-enabled and relatively mid-tier markets covered with a Qualcomm option, and high-price situations covered with the primary Intel-variant. With this plan laid out, do you think that Asus have what it takes to get this device to be as well-selling, and obviously better, than the first generation last year? If you’ve used a Zenfone, how was the experience? Do you think that Asus will make this device as essential to some people as their current phones, making the switch seem obvious, or will it perhaps fall back into the unrecognizable ranks of semi-affordable devices that populate Asian markets? Similarly, Asus mentioned that Italy and France, as well as Brazil, would see sale of the device in the latter half of the calendar year, so do you think that good enough sales could prompt other countries to be targetted to get this powerhouse device? Which countries / markets do you hope that Asus can release the device into would be best, for either a consumer like you and I or them as a company? Let us know down below.