ASUS can thank ZenFone 6 for their smartphone business recovery

There has been some doom and gloom surrounding ASUS and their mobile phone business in the recent past. We were not immune to some of that pessimism with the announcement of cutbacks and fewer ZenFone models being launched. The bleak future seems rather short lived, as it appears now that ASUS executives are optimistic about their smartphone business and expect a gradual recovery into profitability. How is this quick turnaround possible? All the credit goes to the ZenFone 6 and the team that put it all together.

ASUS chairman Jonney Shih spoke with Digitimes and shared his thoughts on how their mobile phone business is progressing. Shih credits the strong demand for the ZenFone 6 and the upcoming launch of the ROG Phone 2 in helping the mobile phone business recover. Shih also noted that the company will continue to invest in smartphone development, targeting power users and gamers. This is promising news for us since we need new phones to write about!

The second-generation ROG Phone 2 is set for a third quarter release date which should bolster the mobile phone business for ASUS. It’s not clear at this point if the company has another trick up its sleeve like they did with the ZenFone 6 flip camera innovation. Nobody saw a flip camera coming so it’s best not to limit expectations when it comes to the new ROG Phone. The category of gaming phones is a new and it’s unproven to a large extent. Is there a big market for game “centric” smartphones? ASUS says yes, but time will tell.

Clearly the ZenFone 6 is the hero product that ASUS was so deperately seeking. They have the demand, but they now need to deliver the product to markets in a timely manner or risk losing much of the goodwill that consumers have expressed. It does seem like a tough crowd who want the phone in their hands or they will move on.

To facilitate the turnaround they need units available to be sold. Making matters more precarious is the reality that smaller mobile phone players like ASUS face additional challenges to quickly ramp up production. The question remains how well ASUS can meet consumer demand. While trying to catch up, communicating release dates and availability should help to reduce any growing frustration and impatience.

Not that long ago there were rumors that ZenFone brand would be no more. ASUS quickly squashed those rumors, but at the same time significant cuts to their mobile phone business took place and things were being dialed back. There was uncertainty for sure and little reason for optimism. Then the ZenFone 6 happened. If ASUS sees profound growth in their mobile phone business over the next year, they should look no further than the team who developed the ZenFone 6 for the good fortune and turnaround.

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