Entering a smartphone market for the first time is a hard task, but Asus is looking to push its way into the crowded United States phone market sometime in 2014, a new report has revealed. Asus Chairman Jonney Shih mentioned that the company has been making progress in building relationships with carriers and retailers, which is necessary for the company to succeed in the territory new to its phone business.
Asus already sells mobile 'phones' outside the United States and the Taiwanese company has previously attempted to sell devices stateside with the help of Garmin. They no longer produce standalone smartphones, at least at the moment, with their product line-up including the Padfone, a 5-inch phone that docks into a 10-inch tablet, and (confusingly) the Fonepad, which is a 7-inch tablet capable of making phone calls.
Aside from those two phone-centric devices, the Android-focused OEM is most well known for producing the Nexus 7 tablets, including the new model announced just last week, and the Transformer line of dockable tablets. The company hasn't ventured too deep into the smartphone market in the last couple of years, so it'll be interesting to see what they'll have in store for their US debut. Shih mentioned something "revolutionary" is coming to the Transformer line, but gave no hints into their smartphone efforts.
It will be difficult for Asus to push into a smartphone market dominated by Apple and Samsung. Manufacturers that are well known and more successful in other territories, such as LG and Sony, have found it hard to sell their high-end devices when they're up against the huge marketing budgets of the big smartphone guns. Unless Asus can produce something radically different, 2014 may be the only year we see Asus in the US phone market.