The plot thickens. There were strong indications that Samsung took most of the entire initial supply of Snapdragon 835 processors with their Galaxy S8 smartphones. It appears only Samsung and Xiaomi has been granted early access and everyone else will be waiting three months for the increased production of the Snapdragon 835.
There is a serious consequence and challenge for Asus regarding this situation, as outlined in a recent Digitimes report.
Does Asus delay their launch by 3 months waiting for the Snapdragon 835 or do they opt for MediaTek? The report indicates that Asus is certainly considering MediaTek although details are not clear. Some models with MediaTek? Just a strategic bluff on Asus’ part? Hard to say for sure. Challenging times for the Asus executives trying to map out strategies moving forward.
One of the issues at hand is the fact a launch delay means going up against the almighty Apple iPhone 8 launch. This is just bad timing because media coverage is all Apple and will make the Zenfone 4 launch much more challenging.
You could say Asus is in a pickle. The smartphone business appears to be a nasty one especially when dealing with priority partners, lack of supply, costs, and launch delays.
Asus has opted for MediaTek in some Zenfone models already and has used their processors in various ZenPad tablets over the past couple of years. MediaTek may not have the prestige of Qualcomm, but it’s likely that Asus could work out cheaper prices which could result in a lower price point for consumers.
At this point it appears Asus is weighing their options. It’s a bit odd to be in this situation because Asus was touting that Qualcomm saw Asus has being full of potential. Business is business and talk is talk. My personal preference is to see Asus wait out the Snapdragon 835 supply and bring the very best Zenfone 4 to the table. Some MediaTek models would be welcome, but these days it’s Qualcomm.