Taiwanese maker Asus has been in the smartphone business for quite some time now. They’ve even given us some interesting products like the Padfone series in the past. However, the company’s recent success has been due to its Zenfone line of smartphones that have met with praise in emerging markets for offering killer specs at extremely affordable prices. It all started with the Zenfone 5, but Asus has made sure it doesn’t give other manufacturers any breathing room by constantly upgrading the hardware on their phones. Unfortunately, this could also turn out to be their Achilles Heel in the end.
After the success of Zenfone 5 and Zenfone 6, Asus introduced Zenfone 2 (don’t go by the numbers) in the market, being on of the first manufacturers to offer an Android phone with 4GB RAM. Of course, we loved it and so did the audience. However, Asus didn’t stop there. In the subsequent months Asus launched a dozen variations of the handset. Some of them come with different storage space, while some have a completely different processor. All this has made buying a Zenfone a daunting task for an average consumer who isn’t as aware with the tech jagrons as Asus expects its customer to be. In India for instance, you can find Zenfone 2 starting from Rs 12,999 ($200) up all the way to 29,999($450). There are so many variants that as a customer I would rather purchase something that is more easy for me to understand. To make things worse, they all look the same.
While they’ve certainly made things a little better by naming some of these devices differently (such as the Zenfone Selfie or the Zenfone Laser), but it’s still pretty darn confusing. Another problem this creates for the company is bringing regular Android updates for so many variants. Asus engineers could have a hard time upgrading all these models to Android 6.0 and above, given some of them have completely different processors and motherboards.
What made the Zenfone appealing could soon turn out against it. At least Asus should consider keeping only one model available at one price point (currently you can get a Zenfone 2 and Zenfone Selfie at the same price). Yes, they come with a numerical-alphabetical nomenclature (for instance ZE550KL), but a regular phone buyer just doesn’t care enough about such complex names. Remember Samsung had flooded the market with just too many phones at one point in time? That didn’t work out too well for them and Asus should certainly take note. Afterall, phones aren’t sold the same way as laptops where one model can have umpteen configurations.