According to some industry sources, ASUS is planning to begin shipping its ZenFone 4 handset series this August, approximately four months later than it originally planed to. This delay will cause ASUS to lose out on the global smartphone market in the third quarter, as a number of other electronics manufacturers will be launching new devices by then, numerous analysts believe. Phone makers that are expected to introduce new models in the third quarter of the year include Samsung, Huawei, LG, Sony, and Xiaomi, among others.
While ASUS is expected to start revealing some of its upcoming handsets on a global stage in the coming weeks, the company has already announced the ZenFone 4 Max. The mid-range handset was launched without much fanfare and was simply unveiled on the website of ASUS Russia. Industry sources added that the latest phone from the Taiwanese firm will likely be competing with models such as the HTC U11, Xiaomi Mi 6 and Mi Max 2, OPPO R11, and the Vivo X9s Plus. However, only the Mi Max 2, OPPO R11, and the Vivo X9s Plus happen to be mid-range smartphones, while the HTC U11 and Mi 6 are both flagship devices from HTC and Xiaomi, respectively. The ZenFone 4 Max will cost 13,900 Rubles ($228), though it still isn't available for purchase in Russia.
This isn't the first time ASUS had a major product launch delay, as the 2016 ZenFone 3 lineup went through a similar scenario. The company managed to ship over 10 million units last year, failing to achieve its target of 25 million units, which is said to be one of the effects of the delayed launch. In addition, the launch of the ZenFone 3 Zoom in the US was delayed until the second quarter of the year despite the fact that the handset was already unveiled at CES 2017 in January. Industry sources also noted that the reason the ZenFone 4 lineup is being delayed is due to the fact that ASUS is having a design overhaul and efficiency upgrades in the works for the series. It is rumored that the company will initially unveil just one device at launch, and other handsets from the series will be revealed later in the year.