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ASUS discusses Windows 8 Padfone in interview

by Mark Tyson on 17 January 2013, 11:23

Tags: ASUSTeK (TPE:2357), Windows Phone

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Taiwanese PC maker ASUS is reportedly in discussions with Microsoft about a licensing deal to make smartphones, particularly a Padfone, based on the Windows Phone mobile OS. Benson Lin, the corporate vice president of mobile communication products at ASUS, talked to the Wall Street Journal about these ideas in an interview published today.

ASUS has enjoyed a good degree of success in 2012 with its high profile tablet collaboration project with Google, the Nexus 7. However its mobile phones have never really hit the headlines and been in demand. In smartphone terms ASUS is best known, at HEXUS at least, for its interesting Padfone devices. In October last year the original Padfone was updated and improved upon with the launch of the Padfone 2. These powerful smartphones are an interesting concept; the latest version, powered by Android, is a powerful quad-core 4.7-inch smartphone that docks into a 10.1-inch tablet.

ASUS Padfone 2, powered by Android

This smartphone/tablet hybrid would be great for Windows 8 devices, thinks Benson Lin, “With our Padfone concept, the phone plus tablet, I think it makes sense for Windows 8”. However Windows Phone 8 and Windows RT or 8 don’t really overlap and aren’t suitable for both tablets and phones individually. This brings into question how a “Windows 8 Padfone” would work. The Verge has an idea that the new Windows Blue will cater for these tweener or hybrid devices and bring the mobile and tablet/desktop OSes closer together.

Finally to wrap up the ASUS Windows Phone news, Mr Lin discussed timescales but gave away no information, “There is no target timeline… but we are interested in making Windows phones”.

LG coming back to Windows Phone?

Only yesterday there were fresh rumours about Korean firm LG signing up and making Windows Phone 8 handsets. Discussing the rumour, emanating from the Korea Times, a writer on GSM-Arena notes that LG was one of Microsoft’s first partners to produce a WP7 device, the LG Optimus 7, but then its interest in the platform fizzled out.



HEXUS Forums :: 9 Comments

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As a once proud owner (for first few weeks until I faced brick wall with the lack of most basic functions) of Windows Mobile 7.5 I can see no future for Windows Phone 8. Android and iOS are just so much more advanced platforms. Why buy such a cumbersome product when you can have an arguably well developed ones ready? Also the gap between full Windows 8 (even RT) and Mobile is just.. if not Windows Modern UI there would be no resemblance at all. I am not even going into describing lack of Windows Mobile OS updates for older devices - even for the top of the range ones.
I'd have loved an Android padphone - I Just wish Asus made them more available! I couldn't find one when I took my last contract so ended up with a note instead (and an asus tf300 tablet later on). Asus really need to work on doing deals with mobile operators first!
Lumia's once coveted Win7 range died for me the moment they announced the win7 handsets would not get upgraded to winphone 8 (including some that had not yet come out at the time). That killed any chance of serious 3rd party app development.
Having poisoned the well somewhat with the Win7 handsets, the lack of 3rd party apps at launch for the Win8 handsets (late access to developer tools) took away a lot of the sweetness and did nothing to allay the fears of people like myself who liked the product but wanted to be sure the apps and support would be there. A nexus-style 'at cost' Win phone (and WinRT device too come to that) could have kick-started the market to encourage app development for these platforms, but instead, everything came out as premium (or at least more expensive than many had predicted/hoped), and the snowball has only just started rolling. As you say, the fact that they are competing against two established app ecosystems is already against them, and any action to boost this later may come as too little, too late.
Tpyo
Lumia's once coveted Win7 range died for me the moment they announced the win7 handsets would not get upgraded to winphone 8 (including some that had not yet come out at the time). That killed any chance of serious 3rd party app development.
Having poisoned the well somewhat with the Win7 handsets, the lack of 3rd party apps at launch for the Win8 handsets (late access to developer tools) took away a lot of the sweetness and did nothing to allay the fears of people like myself who liked the product but wanted to be sure the apps and support would be there. A nexus-style 'at cost' Win phone (and WinRT device too come to that) could have kick-started the market to encourage app development for these platforms, but instead, everything came out as premium (or at least more expensive than many had predicted/hoped), and the snowball has only just started rolling. As you say, the fact that they are competing against two established app ecosystems is already against them, and any action to boost this later may come as too little, too late.

Considering that more people have 7.5 phones (soon to be 7.8?) than 8 and that win 8 phones support win 7 apps, if I were an app developer I'd still target 7.5 over 8 for another year or two.
I can't see a developer in his/her right mind (without any financial incentive) starting to develop for any Windows Phone platform. Unless just to practice. When you have Android and iOS with a vast user base it just doesn't make any sense to code for Windows.