Asus had released their latest generation Zenfone 2 series of smartphones in India just last week. The pricing of the devices in India is in line with the international pricing for the most part and analysts studying the Indian smartphone market believe that the high end specifications, coupled with attractive pricing could give Asus an advantage against their well-entrenched rivals like global giants Samsung and local heavyweights Micromax.
Speaking on the occasion of the Zenfone 2 launch in New Delhi, India, the CEO of Asus, Mr. Jerry Shen, let his opinions be known about the trends that he sees coming into the market over the next year or two. According to him, phones with 4 GB RAM will be the rule rather than the exception by the end of the year. It is worth remembering, that the top end variant of the Zenfone 2 ZE551ML comes with 4 GB RAM and 128 GB storage and is priced at Rs. 29,999 ($475) on e-commerce site Flipkart in India. Mr. Shen also said that he expects designers to pay more attention to the sleekness of the devices, as he believes that customers want their phones to be thinner than ever before. Towards that end, he said that he expects to see more phone manufacturers shift the volume and camera buttons to the back of the devices, in order to maintain the sleek look and feel and reduce the thickness of the handsets.
Talking about his competitors, Mr. Shen seemed confident that his company would be able to take on rivals from mainland China including Xiaomi – the company whose meteoric rise seems to baffle, intrigue and scare most of their rivals in equal measure. He said, that according to his calculations, Asus has already gone past Xiaomi in all markets that they operate in, apart from China, where Xioami continues to be the number one. Asus has also increased its revenues in countries like Indonesia, Singapore and Malaysia, he said.
As for his expectations from the Zenfone 2 range, he said that he expects Asus to do even better than they did with the first generation Zenfone series that they had launched last year. When pressed to offer exact figures, Mr. Shen revealed that the company expects sales in the region of 30 million units worldwide, out of which, he expects India to account for around 5 million units. The Chinese market however will continue to be their prime growth driver, with as many as 10 million devices expected to be sold there. It remains to be seen whether Asus can indeed live up to Mr. Shen’s expectations, but if they can eventually manage to sell that many Zenfones this year, major OEMs like Samsung will have yet another company to worry about.