11
Dec
coming to america

I've been lusting after ASUS' ambitious Padfone devices ever since they were announced way back in 2012. But since ASUS is a company that focuses on its home market first, we haven't seen hide nor hair of the docking smartphone-tablet hybrids over here in the United States. According to an Engadget interview with ASUS CEO Jerry Shen, that could change as soon as the second quarter of next year.

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The interview is a lengthy one, but the juicy bit is near the end: Shen says that ASUS is partnering with a "big operator" in the United States to launch the next iteration of the Padfone on our shores. That could mean a lot of things, but the conventional wisdom is that a successful US phone launch needs the help of at least one of the "Big Four" carriers. On the other hand, the Nexus series (which ASUS is quite familiar with) and Motorola's Moto X and Moto G are finding plenty of customers without them, so I suppose it could also be a major retailer. Shen isn't saying any more on the subject at present.

He also indicates that the US (and eventually European) model will be a high-end device, probably a successor to the Padfone Infinity rather than the newly-announced Padfone Mini which is currently bound for Asian markets. Another boon for premium customers and fans of ASUS' Transformer line: the return of a keyboard dock. The Padfone line abandoned its keyboard dock, which plugged into the tablet dock just like the Transformer series, after the initial model. Shen says that better technology to keep the accessory "light, slim, and pretty," combined with a considerable demand from power users, may lead ASUS to offer the keyboard option again.

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ASUS chairman Jonney Shih with the Padfone Infinity

ASUS will have a tough go of it, no doubt about it: the company has no real experience in the US smartphone market, preferring to stay in Asia where the landscape isn't so dominated by carriers. A phone and tablet hybrid might be a tough sell to the telecom giants, who would probably prefer to sell separate devices with separate monthly data plans. Even so, I'm sure they'll find more than a few convergence fans eager to hand over their dollars for the next Padfone iteration. Enough to bring another after that? We'll just have to wait and see.

Source: Engadget

Jeremiah Rice
Jeremiah is a US-based blogger who bought a Nexus One the day it came out and never looked back. In his spare time he watches Star Trek, cooks eggs, and completely fails to write novels.
  • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii

    Dat thumbnail! Please, may I have some more, sir?

    • PhoenixPath

      I saw that before the pic but after the headline and was all, "Gee, he looks a lot like Eddie Murphy..."

      It's early yet. Give me a break... (snaps off a chunk of kit-kat)

  • Paul_Werner

    It'd be awesome if this was done as stock Android plus kinda like the Moto X and available on all of the four big carriers. Guess I'll keep dreaming

  • b00sted

    Stock android + padphone w/ keyboard dock = winning the game

    • Paul_Werner

      That and finding a way so the carriers don't bill twice for data just because it's docked

  • Jim Nosrati

    When a few months from now you hear it's t-mobile and not verizon/at&t that brings this over, just remember you read it right here first.

  • Danny Davis

    After having the original Transformer and 1st Gen N7 and both having hardware malfunction right around the 1 year warranty expiration, I said I would never invest in ASUS tablets again ever. The transformer screen went out the the USB charging port on my N7 went faulty. I really love this and hope it sells but I won't support ASUS products anymore.

    • h4rr4r

      The USB charging port on the N7 is a known ASUS issue, if you contact support they will fix it. Did you try contacting them?
      I did and it was painless, I know charge it via the dock only.

      • Danny Davis

        I was just outside the warranty so I didn't bother. Plus now I've moved on to Windows RT and got the Lumia 2520. Haven't looked back since

        • h4rr4r

          Then why are you here?
          Clearly you are either looking back or shilly pretty hardcore.

          • Danny Davis

            I don't understand the word Shilly so I can't respond to gibberish. Last I checked this is the internet. This could had been a Windows ASUS tablet and I would had said the same shit. I still follow Android news. I haven't looked back because obviously I have a new tablet and now don't care to fix. I'm clearly responding to ASUS products. Was that not clear enough for you? Obviously it wasn't.

          • Danny Davis

            And the correct term is shilly-shally.

        • Prezes Dyrektor

          i have owned several asus nexus devices and couldnt be more happy. My n7/12 fell several times from considerable height and apart few scratches its sound. Many of my computer parts are asus, and we have a laptop too. Didn't hesitate long to get n7/13. I'm all the way down with asus, they haven't let me down yet (I hope I didn't jinx it).

  • Sorian

    About time! Depending on specs of course.

  • Cuvis

    If it supports T-Mo frequencies, I'll give it a look. I've been drooling over it since it was a thing, but I'm not leaving T-Mo for it.

  • h4rr4r

    Make it a Google Experience device and I will take one today.