Asustek Computer is reportedly struggling to reach its lofty target of shipping 25 million units of its Zenfone 2 smartphones in 2015. Digitimes is reporting that nearly 200,000 Zenfone buyers in China have returned their handsets after the devices started breaking down following an update from Android 4.4 KitKat to Android Lollipop. The site isn’t entirely sure what exactly those reported issues are, but the Zenfone 2 series of devices were launched pre-loaded with Android Lollipop, so the issues in all probability mostly relate to the first generation Zenfone devices that Asus had launched last year. Either way, it remains to be ascertained as to what those problems are and which particular update has started the issues.
Asustek Computers, owners of the Asus brand, had reportedly projected sales of as many as 25 million units of its second generation smartphone lineup – the Zenfone 2 series of handsets, out of which, 8 million were supposed to have been sold in China alone. The company was understandably buoyed by the success of its first generation Zenfone smartphones that set the sales charts blazing, even though the devices only received a limited release. However, with the high expectations that the company had for its second generation Zenfone devices, it remains to be seen whether Asus had an unrealistic goal, or if this is a minor blip in the radar for one of the leading consumer electronics and PC hardware brands in the world. When released in March, the devices were widely praised by reviewers for their performance, hardware specs and software features, but now, if the Digitimes report is anything to go by, the Taiwan based company might well find it hard to match the internal sales projections. Asus has apparently shipped only around 3 million units in Q1, 2015 and company insiders say that the internal projections are for 4.8 million devices worldwide in Q2. The Digitimes source also maintained that Asustek believes it will be able to ship around 2 million Zenfones next month, and is targeting sales of around 9 – 10 million units in the third quarter.
The Zenfone 2 was one of the very first mainstream devices to feature 4 GB of RAM, and the top-end variant also comes with as much as 128 GB of storage. The ZE551ML models come with 1080p displays, while the more basic ZE550ML comes with a 720p 5.5″ display. The devices feature Intel’s Atom SoCs, with the higher-end variants running on the Intel Atom Z3580 clocked at 2.3 GHz, while the lower-end versions running on the Intel Atom Z3560, which is clocked at 1.8 GHz.