After a bit of wait, the ASUS ZenFone 4 is launching in Taipei on August 17.
If previous launch dates are taken into account, the ZenFone 4 is delayed by three months, but its new timing could be more strategic than you think.
New release schedule
In the smartphone world, phones are usually released between two important periods, one per half of the year. The first happens between January to April, sandwiched by events like the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) and Mobile World Congress (MWC). And the second comes much later, from late August to sometime in October around the time of the IFA trade show in Berlin and iPhone launch.
These launches are planned around the availability of smartphone components like processors (which are also updated yearly), and are carefully timed so as not to overlap with competing brands. A properly timed launch means you get the best components and can hog the media spotlight and public’s attention.
For ASUS, both reasons could have factored into play when determining the ZenFone 4’s new launch and release schedule.
Last year, many of their phones were released many months following their actual launch, long after the buzz around these phones had died down.
Streamlined lineup, but still way too many skews
This time it seems like they’re ready to both launch the ZenFone 4 — a complete lineup in fact — and have these phones hit retail shelves shortly after.
According to the latest reports, the following ZenFone 4 models are to be expected next week: the top-of-the-line ZenFone 4 Pro, ZenFone 4 (two variants — why ASUS?), ZenFone 4 Selfie, and the already announced ZenFone 4 Max.
Higher price points
And here’s rumored pricing for Taiwan:
- ZenFone 4 Pro — NT$ 18,990 (approx. US$ 629)
- ZenFone 4 (S660) — NT$ 13,990 (approx. US$ 463)
- ZenFone 4 (S630) — NT$ 10,990 (approx. US$ 363)
- ZenFone 4 Selfie — NT$ 9,990 (approx. US$ 330)
- ZenFone 4 Max — NT$5,990 (approx. US$ 198)
If these prices turn out to be accurate, ASUS will continue on what appears to be a global trend of price increases. The upcoming Galaxy Note 8 from Samsung, for example, is expected to be priced in the area of US$ 1,000.
Last year’s entry-level ZenFone 3 debuted in Taipei for NT$ 7,990, while its flagship Deluxe model was priced at NT$ 15,990.
This doesn’t take into consideration higher pricing in markets outside of Taiwan. Last year pricing in India, the Philippines, and even the US were priced significantly higher.