(Updated) Interview: Jonney Shih, ASUS

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Editor’s Note: We sat down for an interview with the Chiarman of ASUS, Jonney Shih a few hours after the official launch of the ZenFone for Sountheast Asia in Jakarta, Indonesia. Jonney talks about what is it that makes the ZenFone incredible

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Q: What is the difference between the ZenFone Series and other Android platform mobile devices in the market?

As I mentioned during the presentation, Asus has a strong determination to create an extraordinary phone. We entered the phone market with the introduction of the Asus PadFone. This is the kind of innovation that I think should be carried forward and push towards innovating higher end models.

This is the time where we want to highlight the mainstream of the market and we aspire to deliver an empowering luxury for everyone to enjoy. The ZenFone is there to address different challenges. One of those toughest challenge is to address the luxury of owning a beautifully designed phone without sacrificing the key experience when using the phone.

We learned from Da Vinci – to always start from having a desire. You want to create something beautiful, in addition you want it to have enough battery life, you also have to make sure the touch experience is good enough. There are a few criteria that make up the Zenfone. First you have the comfort of holding it in your hands, the touch response, the coating for the phone screen and the sound. For audio content experience, we have the 4th generation SonicMaster technology. It is the technology, software and hardware chosen which comes together to create the ZenFone project.

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ASUS Chairman, Jonney Shih during the interview.

Q: What is your 5 year plan ahead for ASUS?

When you talk about five year plan, I think we can look ahead with the fact that Intel can be a very competitive processor chip provider. This is a very big potential for the new era.

It is because of the ubiquitous cloud computing and the consumer behaviour which leads us to decide our future plan for ASUS. These days wearable technology is moving fast – the watch, the glasses, brainwave technology and implants. In the making of a new era, we need to look ahead to foresee what we can do for the new era by incorporating technology to the ASUS brand spirit is “In Search For Incredible” the new age.

ASUS has the Da Vinci lab, innovating technology such as the PixelMaster technology. Smartphone competitors in the market sacrifice resolution for pixel size, resulting in dark images during low light. With PixelMaster technology, we have a special algorithm which makes a dramatic difference during low light photo shoot without sacrificing resolution.

Currently we have plans for wearable technology such as the smartwatch. We want to make sure the smartwatch pairs up well with the smartphone, making it more practical. At the same time, we also place emphasis on the design of the smartwatch. We have a handful of challenging questions to answer in the process of creating this smartwatch and we will use different approaches to solve these problems and achieve our goal. This is an important year for us and we will spend all our effort to solve these issues.

Q: What should we look forward in terms of design and technology for the Smartwatch?

The key element would be the exterior design, the battery and operating system. We want it to be beautiful. The design element for the accessories accompanying the phone is important. The beauty of Zen represents ASUS. The covercase, the circular design for the caller ID, the ZenUI, and etc make up a beautiful design. Without a beautiful design, the beauty and functionality of the product is destroyed.

We want to empower luxury through the concept of Zen – a design of simplicity and peace. To achieve simplicity is not easy, therefore we spend more time and effort to ensure a product with great performance is made without a hefty price tag.

Q: Will there be more collaborations with Intel?

80% of hardware in the current market consists of PCs and less than 20% consists of non-PC hardware such as tablets and smartphones. We have a “very aggressive” goal to achieve and I think in the coming 3 years the percentage for non-PC products will be comparable to the percentage for PC products. That is my best estimate with consumers playing an important role for this change to happen.

Intel has accumulated a lot of expertise in designing CPUs and we have been collaborating with Intel for quite a long time to know that they are the best processor manufacturer. We are pretty confident about this partnership with Intel in the long run.