Asus seems to be preparing to launch its next Zenfone series smartphones sooner this year. After delaying the launch of Zenfone 4 series last year, the company seems to have pushed the launch time for Zenfone 5 smartphones to early March in order to stay competitive against other smartphone makers.
Asus CEO Jerry Shen has already confirmed that first Zenfone 5 smartphone will arrive as early as March 2018. Now Zenfone 5 Lite, a mid-range smartphone has received certification in Russia, suggesting the devices are ready for launch later this year. The Zenfone 5 series will likely include replacement to Zenfone 4, Zenfone 4 Pro, Zenfone 4 Selfie, and Zenfone 4 Max smartphones.
The listing spotted by Russia’s Mobiletelefon suggests that Zenfone 5 Lite will feature a 6-inch display, and will be powered by a Qualcomm chipset. The smartphone certified in Russia has model number ZC600KL where KL could refer to the Lite variant in the Zenfone 5 series. It also indirectly confirms use of a Qualcomm processor along with support for 4G LTE.
The use of number “600” in the name scheme further indicates that it might feature a 6-inch display. It is not immediately clear from the listing whether Asus is following other smartphone makers to launch a phone with 6-inch display, and support for 18:9 aspect ratio. There is very little information relating to the Zenfone 5 series at this moment, but Asus is most likely to introduce phones with thinner bezels this year.
The Zenfone series, once favored in the mid-range and entry-level segment, has lost in terms of market share and Zenfone 4 series didn’t help much to strengthen its presence in the segment. The Taiwanese company only launched the Zenfone 4 Selfie series in India where it has conceded to Chinese smartphone makers. With Zenfone 5 series, Asus will be hoping to regain the lost market share and strengthen its position especially in the emerging markets.