We were lucky enough to get a quick interview with the executives of ASUS at the official opening of their 100th store in the Philippines. In our interview together with some our friends in the media, we were able to ask on what will be the future of ASUS as a brand in the Philippines.
Left to right; Shawn Chang, ASUS Global Smartphone Product Strategy; Georg Su, ASUS PH Country Manager; Jerry Shen, ASUS Global CEO; Lenny Lin, ASUS PH Product Manager.
A clearer focus on mainstay ZenFone smartphones
ASUS will be focusing more on their existing smartphone models to develop better technologies as well as get a clearer focus on what they want on their smartphones. This means that some of their spin-off smartphones, like the ZenFone Zoom, might be put on ice for a while.
They want to focus more on the capabilities of the recently released ZenFone 5 series as well as improving their already impressive specifications. In an internal study they conducted, they were able to discover that having better optics paired with excellent light sensitivity will get their smartphones better image quality rather than an optical zoom on their ZenFone Zoom series.
“In our testing, optical zoom is good but optical zoom is limited at 3x… but very high light sensitivity is good enough. In our experience, we think the route of light sensitivity that will cover the optical zoom issue. In the future, the Zoom will migrate to the 5Z,” said Jerry Shen, CEO of ASUS.
The ZenFone Max series will be treated as its own series
Based on the pattern we’ve seen so far, it seems that the ZenFone Max series will be treated independently compared to its numbered counterparts. This is evident with the release of the ASUS ZenFone Max Plus back in January as well as the recent unveiling of the ASUS ZenFone Max M1.
At this time, the only follow up for the ZenFone Max lineup is the Max Pro. We have seen via GeekBench a smartphone from ASUS with the codename ASUS_X00QD with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 660. Perhaps this will be the ZenFone Max Pro, which will be released in the future.
“Right now we want Max as an independent category. So you have the Max, Max Plus, and in the future; Max Pro… But it’s not connected to the main generation. So the timing we are preparing to refresh the max series, we don’t need to connect with the main generation.” said Shawn Chang, ASUS Global Smartphone Product Strategy.
The Republic of Gamers may appear in ZenFone form
It’s no secret that the mobile has become one of the dominating forces in gaming in the past few years. With games such as Rules of Survival, PUBG Mobile, Arena of Valor, and Vainglory among many others, the smartphone has become a legitimate gaming platform in just a few short years.
Other smartphone manufacturers, notably Razer and Xiaomi, has released dedicated SKUs of smartphones just for gaming.
ASUS has been a mainstay for gaming PC components and notebooks since 2006 with their Republic of Gamers brand. They haven’t said much about the specifics, but they have said that gaming is a trend and whenever there is a trend, they want to be at the forefront of that trend.
Jerry Shen said “Gaming… is a trend. Anything that is a trend, we want to compete with… Definitely, we will follow the trend.”
Cementing their status as a smartphone brand in the Philippines
The ZenFone series was released just four years ago. ASUS has undeniably evolved to a much larger entity in the smartphone market within a short span of time. In their belief, the product is at their core of their philosophy. They want to deliver the best product as possible to its customers.
The product, however, is just one part of the equation. The opening of their 100th store is just the first step in improving their relations with their existing and potential customers. They will improve everything about their retail stores and products by catering to different kind of customers. ASUS will also better their supply chain to be streamlined in order for its users to get the right product at the right time.
“Now our following job is to enrich and then to establish a very effective and very wide coverage channel network or touch point with our Filipino end users so they can really enjoy good products and good solutions anywhere in the country… Now we have to go to our customer not let the customer find us. The 100th store is our first step to reach out to our partners as far as Zamboanga, General Santos, Davao, Tuguegarao, Laoag, even South Luzon, we have our point of sales there,” said George Su, ASUS Philippines Country Manager.
The future seems bright for not just the ZenFone series but for ASUS as a whole. We can’t wait what will be their next batch of products to hit the market. With Computex 2018 just on the horizon, we doubt that we’ll have to wait long to find out.