Asustek Computer to unveil the biggest supersized smartphone yet at 2013 Mobile World Congress
I used to belong to the school of thought that large-screen smartphones were a gimmick that Apple could safely ignore and most iPhone users would never miss. I’ve changed my mind.
Strong and growing sales of so-called phablets have convinced me that there is user demand for the jumbo-sized smartphone, and I agree with Apple-watching Bear-Stearns analyst Shaw Wu that Apple is leaving money ( and market share) on the proverbial table by not having one to offer. In a note to investors cited by Appleinsider, Mr. Wu observes:
“We believe AAPL is leaving money on the table by not participating in larger touchscreen form factors. But more importantly, we believe AAPL needs to reclaim high-end leadership as that is what brand is about. Sure, iOS, iTunes and the App Store are great, but it is clear that many customers want larger screens. “
Digitimes’ Monica Chen and Joseph Tsai, reported Wednesday that Asustek Computer may unveil the biggest supersized smartphone yet at the 2013 Mobile World Congress (MWC) in Barcelona, Spain, February 25-28. The Asus Fonepad is rumored to be a 7-inch Android 4.1 tablet (Asus makes the Nexus 7 tablet for Google) equipped with telephony functions and powered by an Intel Atom Z242 processor, Other purported specs include a 1280 x 800 IPS touchscreen, 16GB RAM and 1GB ROM, a 3-megapixel rear camera, support for 3G, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and GPS, and an expected selling price of US$271-$305 according to unnamed insider sources in the Asian upstream supply chain.
As we’ve noted here before, Apple could quite easily and quickly make a super-phablet that could do battle with the Asus Fonepad, by adding a telephony chip to the 4G iPad mini, just as the mini itself has answered the Nexus 7 (et al.) challenge. I’m skeptical that they will do that.