Fri, Apr 13, 2018 - Page 12 News List

AI-enhanced ZenFone 5 to tap mid-range market

By Ted Chen  /  Staff reporter

A model displays a new AI-enhanced ZenFone 5 smartphone produced by Asustek Computer Inc at a product launch news conference in Taipei yesterday. The ZenFone 5 smartphone can create animated stickers using face detection technology.

Photo: CNA

Asustek Computer Inc (華碩) yesterday launched its artificial intelligence (AI)-enhanced ZenFone 5 smartphone to tap into Taiwan’s mid-range smartphone market.

The ZenFone 5 — priced competitively at NT$11,990 — has been released on Taiwan’s major e-commerce platforms, while local telecom carriers are expected to introduce contract deals for the smartphone on Sunday.

ZenFone 5 is expected to become Taiwan’s best-selling smartphone at the end of this month, Asustek Taiwan sales vice president Zace Huang (黃立中) said at a news conference in Taipei.

Users can enjoy AI-enhanced photo-taking, app performance, adaptive displays, and battery charging and management with the ZenFone 5, the company said.

Asustek did not provide specific sales target for the Zenfone 5, but mobile devices, including smartphones, accounted for 15 percent of its overall sales as of the end of last year, company data showed.

Asustek on Monday released its first-quarter sales results, which showed a drop in consolidated sales of 13 percent from the previous quarter to NT$98.99 billion (US$3.38 billion), amid continued pressure from the strength of the New Taiwan dollar against the US dollar.

On an annual basis, sales were 8.5 percent lower in the first quarter, the company said, adding however that last month’s sales came to NT$40.75 billion, rising 51 percent from February and gaining 10 percent annually.

Asustek said that due to a slow seasonal effect in the January-to-March period, sales of PCs, smartphones and motherboards declined by between 7.5 percent and 12.5 percent compared with the previous quarter.

The latest Gartner Inc data showed that Asustek shipped 3.9 million PCs in the first quarter, down 12.5 percent from 4.46 million units a year ago.

While the company’s global ranking remained in fifth place, its market share declined from 7.1 percent to 6.3 percent, the market researcher said.

Worldwide PC shipments registered its 14th consecutive quarterly decline at the end of last month, dropping 1.4 percent annually to 61.7 million units as the US and Asia Pacific markets experienced a decline in shipments, Gartner said in a report published on Wednesday.

Gartner’s global PC shipment data includes desktops, notebooks and ultramobile premiums but not Chromebooks or iPads.

Rival Acer Inc (宏碁) saw its first-quarter PC shipments drop 8.6 percent annually to 3.83 million units, while its global market share dipped from 6.7 percent to 6.2 percent, keeping its global ranking at No. 6.

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