|Asustek CEO Jerry Shen poses with Qualcomm executive vice president Christiano Amon|
Asustek Computer will release its next-generation ZenFone 5 family products at the earliest in March 2018 as the operations of its smartphone business have returned to a growth truck as a result of recent restructuring, according to company CEO Jerry Shen.
Shen is currently leading a trade mission to promote the company's ZenFone 4 in Europe.
Sales of Asustek's ZenFone 3 devices have been gaining momentum in France, Italy, Spain and Russia, and the sales momentum is expected to continue on ZenFone 4 products as the company is expanding its cooperation with telecom operators in the region, Shen added.
Thanks to improving operating efficiency and rising ASP of ZenFone 4, Asustek's smartphone business is expected to swing back to profitability in the fourth quarter of 2017, Shen said, adding that by the third quarter of 2018 Asustek is likely to be one of the profitable seven smartphone vendors globally, Shen stressed.
Meanwhile, Shen said that HTC's decision to sell its Pixel team to Google will not have a significant impact on Asustek's smartphone business as Asustek and Google have been cooperating closely and Google's Pixel smartphones are targeting the high-end segment compared to Asustek's focus on the entry-level to mid-tier sector.