Update: Asus denies rumors of ditching the Zenfone family of phones, confirming the development of a new Zenfone series in 2024:
We would like to refute the rumors that ASUS Zenfone 10 will be the last generation of the series and the ASUS Zenfone product line will be discontinued. Not true. We will continue the work of two main lines of phones: ROG Phone and Zenfone. ASUS is firmly committed to its smartphone business and customers. For more information, please see our second quarter earnings bulletin.
According to sources, Asus decided to restructure its operations by firing or reassigning employees responsible for developing the Zenfone line of phones.
Most likely, Asus will continue to work only under the ROG Phone brand, which implies the abandonment of plans to release new compact Android phones.
The ROG Phone 7 gaming series, while not a bestseller, seems to have a slightly more solid fan base, enough to warrant continued efforts in this market segment. In contrast, compact smartphones don’t seem to find buyers anymore, whether they’re based on Android or iOS. The problem is that it’s impossible to do as much on a compact screen as on a “normal” sized smartphone, and buyers who are interested in such a product only because of the compact size are rather the exception. For them, the phone offering will be further narrowed down to the budget range, the only niche that lesser-known brands such as those from China can enter.
Oddly enough, the new business reorganization plan seems to be affecting the current product portfolio as well: Asus has removed several older firmware versions for them from the site. It is not yet clear whether the “escape” is related to the internal reorganization of the IT infrastructure or whether it means attracting the remaining users in a certain direction.
Of course, Asus isn’t the only smartphone maker feeling the smartphone market’s downturn: Apple has adjusted orders it sends to iPhone makers in China and lowered its official sales forecasts for the current year.