ASUS refutes claim that ZenFone brand is dead

ASUS is issuing a statement to affirm their commitment to the ZenFone brand. The suggestion is that the reports spelling the end of the ZenFone brand are false. Here is the statement ASUS released:

“With regard to doubts raised by some on the continuation of the ZenFone brand, we confirm that we will continue to develop the ZenFone series, while also aiming to expand the gaming smartphone market. We will focus on perfecting solutions for gamers and power users.”

What doesn’t make sense from a business perspective is trying to sell a product when you announce that the line-up or brand is no more. There are still ZenFone units to ship and if you send out the message that you are closing up shop, what do you think happens? Nobody buys them. So in that sense, it makes sense to refute claims about the ZenFone brand demise. Whatever they plan to do with the mobile phone business, one this is certain. They will be doing it with less resources (employees).

We should be happy to hear of this news. The ZenFone brand may continue but perhaps it will be very limited to a few markets. Reducing the number of models would be a good move, but are power users the answer?

Markets like the US where many power users exist and who spend a lot of mobile phones is a market that ASUS announced they will not be competing in. So it’s hard to see where a high-end ZenFone would fit. The most success was in Asia where the cheaper models had greater success. High price points were heavily criticized by consumers in Asian markets with the rollout of the ZenFone 4 series so those markets don’t seem like a fit for “power users” or ZenFone models with higher price points.

It’s possible however that ASUS could target power users with more affordable price points than the other flagship phones. However the ZenFone 5 tried to battle the other flagships with similar specs and lower price point but it clearly wasn’t enough to generate sales. Will ASUS release models that supersede the competition in terms of specs?

One thing to keep in mind is that the ZenPad brand still exists today however it has been about 2 years now since the last release. So in that sense, the ZenFone brand could continue along but at a much slower pace and priority level like the ZenPad brand.

Let’s see how things progress over the next year and go from there. However the idea of pursuing “power users” doesn’t seem like a direction towards cheap price points. So considering when the ZenFone series went high price point, the marketplace got extremely negative this isn’t adding up strategy wise so far. The new leadership team likely has some interesting ideas so hopefully we start to see the direction and how it will or will not include the ZenFone brand.

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