Published in Mobiles

Asus has high hopes for China smartphone market

by on07 April 2015

2 million pre-orders for Zenfone 2

Asus has received about two million pre-orders for its Zenfone 2 flagship handset, and this year the company plans to ship 30 million smartphones. 

The Zenfone 2 pre-orders are coming from China and this is what makes the figure interesting – Asus sold between 600,000 and 700,000 smartphones in China last year. With the Zenfone 2, it’s already way ahead of last year’s shipments and the phone hasn’t even launched in China yet. This year, Asus hopes to seize 2% of the Chinese market and ship 9 million units.

However, we understand what makes the new Zenfone 2 appealing – it’s a beast on a budget. The flagship model sports a 1080p 5.5-inch display, quad-core Atom Z3580, 4GB of RAM and 32GB of storage, along with a 13-megapixel camera and 3000mAh battery. This particular SKU is priced in the $330-$360 range. Cheaper versions, with 720p panels, less RAM and slower processors, start at about $200.

However, these budget variants aren’t nearly as popular as the 4GB model. Asus CFO David Chang told the Taipei Times that about 80% of global demand for the Zenfone 2 is for the flagship 4GB unit.

In addition to the Zenfone series, Asus is also targeting the entry level market with a new brand – Pegasus. In case you’re wondering why the company chose Pegasus, you may want to check out how Asus got its name.

The Pegasus brand was launched last year and it’s going after the Chinese market. These devices employ Qualcomm and MediaTek processors rather than Intel.
Interestingly, Chang went out of his way to explain why the company decided keep using Atom processors on its flagship. He said Intel Atoms can handle 4GB of RAM and the company plans to move to Qualcomm processors when they’re ready to match Intel in this respect.

Whether or not 4GB of RAM makes much of a difference on a mobile phone is up for debate, but the fact that Asus is selling more 4GB models than 2GB versions proves the approach works from a marketing perspective.

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