updated 05:24 am EST, Wed December 11, 2013
Asus working with major US operator on second-quarter release
Asus has launched its rumored PadFone Mini in Taiwan, as well as revealing that part of the PadFone range will be making its way to the United States in the future. The smartphone and tablet-dock system seen in earlier, larger iterations is now available as a 4.3-inch 960x540-resolution smartphone that combines with a tablet with a 7-inch 1,280x800 display.
Providing the storage and processing abilities for both itself and the tablet section, the smartphone element ships with a quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon processor clocked at 1.4GHz with 1GB of RAM, reports Engadget. The Android 4.3 smartphone also has an 8-megapixel camera, 16GB of expandable storage, and a 1,500mAh battery, with the tablet supplying an extra 2,200mAh when docked.
Both the PadFone Mini smartphone and tablet will be available for NT$11,900 ($400) in Taiwan, China, Russia, Hong Kong, Indonesia, and Singapore.
Though a US release is not immediately planned, it could still happen in the future. CEO Jerry Shen told Engadget in an interview that Asus is preparing to launch high-end versions in Europe and the US, with a "mainstream" line for Asia. The company is apparently working on a product for a "big operator" in the US that is set to launch in the second quarter. "Once this product is launched [in the US], we will definitely have no problem tackling Europe with the same product because this US operator is very big," advised Shen.