Why Asus ZenFone price will worry a lot of companies

Written by Nandagopal Rajan | New Delhi | Updated: Jul 12 2014, 17:48pm hrs
AsusDebjani Ghosh, (L to R) Vice President Sales and Marketing, South Asia Intel Jerry Shen, CEO Asus, actor Arjun Kapoor at the launch of the Asus phones in New Delhi. (PTI)
The going has suddenly become tough for a lot of smartphone manufacturers looking to India for their numbers, especially the local brands. Asus, the Taiwan-based company popular for its design heavy top end computing devices, has entered the Indian smartphone market with a bang. It has just announced the availability of its ZenFone range of 4, 5 and 6 inch smartphones priced as low as Rs 5,999. In fact, the 5-inch version has been priced at Rs 9,999 and the 6-inch at Rs 16,999. And it is not just a price play and the phones offer features that more akin to top end smartphones.

Read review: Asus ZenFone 5 a great proposition for buyers

The ZenFones are Asus's big entry into India, but it is also chipmaker Intel's bid to capture the smartphone market where it has been an insignificant player so far. It seems the two joined hands to ensure that the price tag was more than competitive.

Sources close to the developments said the Asus global CEO Jerry Shen, who is in India for the launch, was himself been working on the final price. And it seems there was a last-minute change of plan, for at the launch the company handed our brochures which showed the 8-GB ZenFone 5 would sell for Rs 12,999 and the ZenFone 6 for 17,999, though there was no mention of the smallest size.

The 4-incher is a full Rs 1,000 cheaper than the Moto E, which has been making waves in the Indian market since its launch on Flipkart a couple of months back. While Asus will sell on Flipkart, we could find only the 16GB ZenFone 5 and ZenFone 6 on the site. In fact, the 16GB version of the ZenFone 5 will now sell for Rs 12,999.

With the kind of features on offer, there are is a good chance this phone will interest a large number of users, at least till others bring devices at competing prices or cut the prices of competing devices.