Wanna buy a ZenFone 6 but can’t find one? We explain the situation.

Growing tired of waiting for a chance to buy a ZenFone 6? You’re not alone. We’ve seen and read the many unanswered questions about availability, and the uncertainty has led to some frustration out there. Deep breath time. We’re here to break down the situation and provide some insight in hopes of alleviating some of the negative feelings and frustration.

As frustrated as people may be, by no means is this an inventory crisis. Most of Europe, Taiwan and India have in-stock ZenFone 6 units to buy. That said, some areas like the UK and North America are lacking availability and are still awaiting official word from ASUS. In the markets that are still waiting, it’s clearly testing the patience of people who are excited to buy a ZenFone 6.

Even if you have the opportunity to buy a ZenFone 6 now, certain configurations are not readily available. Some people want 6GB/64GB, others want 8GB/128GB or even the 8GB/256GB. To the frustration of some, there is no rhyme or reason as to why you can buy only one and not the other. We think it’s a situation where supply is spread too thin right now but it’s going to improve into July in most markets.

You would be right to say the Twilight Silver model is hard to find as well. ASUS has responded to those shortages by stating the Twilight Silver color requires a longer, more difficult manufacturing process to create. More patience required folks and we suggest you check with us often to see what’s going on with that Twilight Silver color stock situation. If you don’t mind paying inflated prices from international sellers for a silver model, we have details here.

You may recall that when ASUS was going through some restructuring last year with their mobile phone business, the company announced they wanted to target power users. If you are going to target serious mobile phone consumers, they have certain expectations. These could be considered early adopters and not having units available to buy in the day following an announcement is asking for trouble. Given some of the backlash about lack of units available to buy on places like XDA Developer forums, maybe ASUS is learning the hard way that power users are a tough crowd.

Be assured of one thing. ASUS is scrambling to meet the demand as best they can. It’s not simple to deal with higher than expected demand so let’s look at a few of the factors at play right now.

The first big challenge for ASUS involves the art of prediction. When they create a new ZenFone, they can only guess how well received it will be. Like trying to predict a song is going to be a chart topper before it’s released, it’s hard to know whether a smartphone is going to be embraced by the tech community prior to launch and to what extent.

In covering the ZenFone series for as long as we have, it was clear to us the ZenFone 6 was destined for greatness. Even by evaluating our long standing poll, we can see that the ZenFone 6 ticks the top two most wanted features with a big battery and cheap price compared to other flagships sporting the Snapdragon 855. The near stock Android on the ZenFone 6 remedies one of the biggest gripes from consumers about the ZenFone series—ZenUI bloat. No notch, an innovative flip camera and a headphone jack as well? Few would dispute the ZenFone 6 is the best ZenFone ever made. ASUS was tentative on what they had here.

So once ASUS settles on initial sales estimates and demand, they must set a forecast to the supply chain around 9-months prior to the start of manufacturing. During that 9-months, if ASUS decides that demand is likely to be higher, it takes them 3-months for those changes to go into effect. Based on this process, you can see where things gets complicated if initial sales volume is underestimated.

An additional challenge is that ASUS is considered a small player in the smartphone business. Because of this, they don’t have the ability to snap their fingers and ramp up production. It takes them longer to scale up quickly. Expecting ASUS to have the same manufacturing ability as the big names in the mobile phone space isn’t realistic. Up until now, the ZenFone series hasn’t generated the sales volume that would help establish a supply chain like the bigger manufacturers enjoy.

So why didn’t ASUS have a better sense of the demand ahead of time? We heard that ASUS’ initial production run of ZenFone 6 was more than that of the ZenFone 5z. In fairness they weren’t entirely oblivious to the potential hero they were about to launch. Using the ZenFone 5z may not have been a good idea though because that particular model didn’t have nearly the selling points and innovation as the ZenFone 6.

The sales estimate process that ASUS employs can certainly be debated and perhaps internally the company will have to make changes or find ways to better ascertain hero products. At the same time let’s not blow this situation out of proportion. A majority of consumers will have the patience to wait this out. It’s another matter entirely if consumers get frustrated by delays and go buy a different phone instead. We don’t believe the situation is that dire at this point, but please do voice your opinion in the comment section if you disagree with our take on this.

3 Comments

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  1. Richie August 1, 2019 at 10:53 pm #

    It’s been nearly 3 months, and yet no new of Zenfone 6 availability for Singapore. Came from Zenfone 3, would really want to give them another chance!

  2. Luke August 18, 2019 at 4:27 am #

    Is it really that hard to understand what consumers want? It just means those people working on your sales, marketing, purchasing, forecasting are not even technologically inclined to begin with, so do they even deserve to be working for a tech company? Come on!

  3. 3ogdy September 1, 2019 at 4:41 pm #

    So ASUS finally listened.
    I look for the following when picking a phone from the current crop of hardware available on the market:

    1.No notch.
    2.Big battery capacity.
    3.No in-screen fingerprint reader.
    4.Headpone jack. Headphone jack. HEADPHONE JACK.
    5.microSD card slot.
    6.(optional) USB-C.
    7.256GB+ storage would be nice.
    8.No bloatware – or at least make it REMOVABLE – Remove is not the same as Disable (looking at you, Samsung).
    Zenfone Selfie had battery issue, a lot of bloatware – enough to make me think ASUS was about to release an app to help me fucking BREATHE.
    The fact that they got rid of the front facing camera is a huge PLUS in my book. Want to expose yourself? Flip the camera on the back and flip it back when done.

    I just ordered a Zenfone 6. Had to wait months, got tired, kept waiting some more…ordered from eGlobal Central. Saw people complaining about awful experience with them – taking forever to send a product, getting damaged products, open boxes…etc. Found it somewhere else now. I really was getting tired of waiting, ASUS.

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