Asus doesn’t exactly have a stellar track record of global availability, timely commercial launches and especially US carrier support for Android-powered ZenFones, but at least one of those things is on the brink of change.
Unfortunately, it’s been a couple of months since the Taiwanese OEM officially announced Verizon exclusivity of the groundbreaking ZenFone AR stateside, and the early July ETA bandied about in late May has come and gone. No sign of actual sales kicking off at Big Red anytime soon, and to rub salt into the wounds of American AR and VR enthusiasts, the world’s first Tango-enabled and Daydream-ready phone has just become available in distant India.
Local e-commerce giant Flipkart is charging a steep but fair 49,999 rupees ($775) for an ultra-high-end configuration with 128GB internal storage space and a record-setting 8GB RAM, promising 3-4 days nationwide delivery.
You can even get a small discount on Google’s Daydream View VR headset with controller if you order that alongside the Asus ZenFone AR right now, namely Rs. 2,500 off an MSRP of 6,499 rupees.
In semi-related news, “industry sources” cited by hit-and-miss publication Digitimes claim the ZenFone 4 family will start shipping sometime in August, which is roughly a year after the debut of the first few ZenFone 3-series models, but far behind the company’s original schedule.
Apparently, the initial plan called for an April rollout, but now Asus needs to fend off an entirely new wave of upper mid-range and flagship products from Samsung, LG, Sony, Xiaomi, OPPO and Vivo. Sounds tough, doesn’t it?