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ZenFone models make world debut in Taiwan

TAIPEI -- Asustek Computer Inc.'s two latest ZenFone models made their worldwide market debuts in Taiwan yesterday after having been first unveiled at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas in January.

Asustek's ZenFone 5 (A500CG) and ZenFone 6, which were introduced at a promotional event in Taipei, are priced at NT$4,990 (US$165.21) and NT$6,990, respectively, in the domestic market.

Asustek Chairman Jonney Shih, who said he was very excited to be releasing the new smartphones in his company's home market, described the latest ZenFone models as high-quality products at reasonable and affordable prices.

“Not all high-end smartphones need to be expensive, and mid-tier models can still be elegant,” Shih said. “We want to provide products that a majority (of consumers) can easily own.”

The ZenFone 5 has a 5-inch IPS display with 1280 x 720 resolution, an Intel Atom Z2580 2.0GHz dual-core processor and an 8-megapixel camera, while the higher-end ZenFone 6 sports an advanced 6-inch touch screen and a 13-megapixel camera, according to Asustek.

The ZenFone models released Tuesday, priced as low as NT$4,490, are available in black, white and red, and all have a dual-SIM card slot.

Asustek Chief Financial Officer David Chang predicted that his company will sell five million units of the ZenFone series worldwide by the end of 2014, which he said will help give the company's revenue a year-on-year boost in the second quarter of 2014, particularly in light of a low comparison base in the same period of 2013.

Some 1,200 consumers attended the promotional event to get a hands-on experience of the new devices.

Among them was Sharron Tsai, who said she was surprised to see a high-end smartphone priced “so low” and had decided to buy one for her mother as a Mother's Day gift.

At the promotional event, Asustek also released a smaller PadFone mini that sports an Intel Atom Z2560 1.6GHz processor, the Android 4.3 Jelly Bean operating system, a dual-SIM card slot and an 8-megapixel camera.

The new 4-inch PadFone mini carries a price tag of NT$7,990, while the previous 4.3-inch version is sold at NT$11,990.

Asustek shares closed up 0.48 percent at NT$311.5 Tuesday in Taipei, while the broader market rose 0.13 percent.

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