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ASUS CEO resigns, mobile strategy revamp could mean loss of ZenFone (Updated)

Update: ASUS has confirmed it will not drop the ZenFone line as it revises its smartphone strategy.

Published onDecember 14, 2018

Update, 12/14/2018, 09:30 ET: ASUS has confirmed its ZenFone line will not be abandoned as part of its internal restructuring and new mobile strategy. In a statement to Gadgets360, ASUS said:

“With regard to doubts raised by some on the continuation of the ZenFone brand, we confirm that we will continue to develop the ZenFone series, while also aiming to expand the gaming smartphone market. We will focus on perfecting solutions for gamers and power users.”

Questions over the series’ continuation were raised yesterday when ASUS announced its CEO, Jerry Shen, was resigning after 11 years at ASUS’ helm.

The most recent ZenFone we reviewed was the ZenFone 5Z and we’d gladly see a sequel to that handset. In our coverage, we called it the “flagship killer” killer. Hit the previous link to find out more on that.

ASUS Zenfone 5Z

Original story, 12/13/2018 13:31 ET: Today, ASUS announced that its longtime CEO Jerry Shen will be stepping down, via Engadget. Shen has been the head of ASUS for the past 11 years. His resignation takes effect on January 1, 2019.

Shen will be replaced by two acting CEOs — PC business lead S.Y. Hsu and global customer service lead Samson Hu. It is not clear if those roles will be permanent or temporary.

Along with the announcement of Shen’s departure, ASUS also revealed it will be revamping its mobile strategy going forward. According to ASUS, more emphasis will be placed on gaming industry products and devices for power users — which means less emphasis on general consumer devices like the ASUS ZenFone.

ASUS ROG Phone review: The perfect mobile weapon for your ROG arsenal

Although ASUS didn’t make any clear declarations in regard to the ZenFone line, ASUS chairman Jonney Shih described the general consumer mobile market as a “bloody battlefield” in his interview with Business Next. ASUS is primarily known as a PC/gaming company, so it makes sense to focus more on making gaming phones than it does ZenFones.

A change in mobile strategy at this point is a necessity, as ASUS just had to list a one-time loss of 6 billion new Taiwan dollars (~$195 million) to cover “loss of inventory, royalties, production costs, and organizational adjustment expenses” in its mobile arm.

The most notable ASUS smartphone of the year is the ASUS ROG Phone, which is getting good reviews. Its wide-ranging line of accessories make it a versatile device, and is the most “gamer-centric” gaming phone of the year, as compared to the Razer Phone 2 and the Xiaomi Black Shark.

Click below to see how these gaming phones stack up against each other:

NEXT: ASUS ROG Phone vs Razer Phone 2 vs Xiaomi Black Shark: Gaming smartphone deathmatch

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