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Asus May Offer Smartphones in North America Next Year

In an interview with AllThingsD, Asus Chairman Jonney Shih admitted that the company is a "latecomer" to the smartphone market but is making progress in bringing a device to the United States. He said Asus has been taking its time building relationships with the very carriers and retailers it will depend on when a smartphone finally is ready to ship.

Take a quick glance at the company's local website, and you'll see motherboards, graphics cards, notebooks, desktops, tablets, optical drives, networking products, and other devices. What you won't see, at least for now, is a smartphone portfolio. The closest device Asus offers is the Padfone phone/tablet 10.1 inch hybrid and the 7 inch Fonepad phablet, both of which are sold overseas.

Shih said that Asus created the Fonepad because smartphones are being used less for making phone calls and more for their computing prowess. He said he was pleasantly surprised to see consumers actually use it as a phone, given its 7 inch size. But he also indicated that there's a limit to what the pocket can bear when it comes to a phone's size. After all, you typically can't stuff a 7 inch phablet into a pocket.

Currently, Asus is focused on its third generation Padfone and its Transformer series of Android tablets with keyboard docks. For the latter, he said that Asus is going to have something even more revolutionary in the near future. Naturally, he didn't elaborate, but we're betting there's some telephony action going on soon.

The PadFone Infinity is the company's latest PadFone entry, sporting a smartphone with a 5 inch screen, 4G LTE connectivity, a Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 quad-core SoC clocked at 1.7 GHz, a 13MP f/2.0 camera with 8FPS burst mode, and a battery promising up to 19 hours. The device can be docked into a 10.1 inch full HD screen, turning it into a tablet.

As for the Fonepad, it has an Intel Atom Z2460 SoC clocked at 1.6 GHz, 1 GB of RAM, up to 32 GB of internal storage, Wireless N and Bluetooth 3.0 connectivity, 3G connectivity, a 1.2MP camera on the front and a 3MP camera on the back, a microSD card slot and more. The 7 inch IPS screen has a 1280 x 800 resolution.

So when exactly will Asus enter the North American smartphone market? The company seems to be doing quite well with the Fonepad and Padfone overseas. "I think next year is more reasonable," he said.

  • Aaron Briggs
    ugh more smart phones. Seriously how is the market not Fing over saturated yet?
  • rwinches
    They need to make it so you can just pop out your sim card and swap phones easily.
    That way you can have a whole collection of phones/ phablets and switch them according to your whims or needs or color coordination.
    Then you could have a wrist phone, a bling phone, a belt buckle phone, an ear phone, a shoe phone, a techno phone, a steam punk phone the options a endless.

  • sykozis
    11279272 said:
    ugh more smart phones. Seriously how is the market not Fing over saturated yet?

    Because there's a few billion people on the planet..... It's hard to oversaturate a market that's as large as the cellphone market.
  • greghome
    FYI, The Dude in the picture is from Acer, not Aus
  • GreaseMonkey_62
    I wouldn't mind seeing a PadFone. I like idea of docking a powerful phone into a 10" or 7" tablet when you want it.
  • g00fysmiley
    get the padfone on a us carrier with a unlimited dat aplan (ie sprint or t mobile) and i'd buy it
  • tendoboy1984
    Why are Acer, ASUS, and Lenovo taking so long to sell their phones in the US, but they can easily sell their tablets and PCs worldwide?

    Samsung knows what it takes to be a true global leader. It's about time that the other companies follow suit.
  • g-unit1111
    11293425 said:
    get the padfone on a us carrier with a unlimited dat aplan (ie sprint or t mobile) and i'd buy it

    Seriously! The Padfone Infinity would sell like hot cakes.