[Update: Statement] Asus will shift its mobile strategy to focus on gamers and power users
If you’ve followed the Android smartphone industry for the past few years, then you may know that, despite having a large presence in other industries, Asus isn’t exactly a part of the A-list of smartphone manufacturers. Looking at the XDA forums, I can say that Android enthusiasts, in particular, weren’t fans of the bloatware that came with some of their earlier phones. Further, their odd choice of incorporating Intel’s mobile SoCs inside several ZenFone smartphones made development on them more difficult. Their struggle in the smartphone industry is unsurprising, yet unfortunate, since the company’s Republic of Gamers (ROG) brand has built up a solid reputation among PC enthusiasts. When we saw the company unveil the ROG Phone, then, we were cautiously optimistic about its standing in the market. According to a new report, Asus is banking on ROG, or rather, marketing to gamers and power users in general, as their way forward in the mobile market.
Jerry Shen has been the CEO of Asus for nearly 10 years now. Earlier today, Mr. Shen announced that he will be stepping down as CEO to let two once co-COOs—S.Y. Hsu and Samson Hu—take his place. The “comprehensive corporative transformation” inside Asus is planned for January 1st of 2019, and Mr. Shen has made it clear that Asus will focus its mobile business more on gamers and power users. This could mean we’ll get more phones like the ASUS ROG Phone and less phones like the ZenFone series.
Staying afloat in this ever-evolving industry is obviously not easy. Investing in the gaming smartphone market could work out well for a company like Asus, as their experience of making and marketing high-quality PC gaming hardware could be adapted towards the mobile scene going forward. We know that the ZenFone Max Pro is quite popular on our forums, and the newly launched ZenFone Max Pro M2 should be just as popular if not more so. The ZenFone 5Z is a respectable competitor to the OnePlus 6/6T and POCO F1 as well. We don’t know if Asus will cut back on launching Xiaomi Mi/Redmi and OnePlus competitors, but it would be a big loss to enthusiasts on our forums if they do cut back.