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PadFone Mini pricing announced, CEO hints at U.S. release

New version of hybrid tablet-smartphone to cost $400, and may be in more markets than Taiwan soon.


Asus introduced the PadFone at Computex 2011 to mixed reviews. People didn’t know what quite to make of it: It was a hybrid smartphone and tablet that was up against powerhouse devices like the iPhone, Samsung Galaxy, and the year after the Nexus 7.

As expected the PadFone didn’t become an international best seller, but Asus seemed impressed with it and is following up with a recently released Asus PadFone Mini, and mega-sized PadFone Infinite.

The PadFone Mini comes with a 4.3-inch phone with a 7-inch tablet powered by a 1.4GHz quad-core Snapdragon processor with 1GB of RAM. The phone has a 960 x 540 resolution, while the tablet has a resolution of 1,280 x 800.The battery for the phone has 1,500 mAh while the tablet has a battery with 2,200 mAh capacity.

Asus says it will cost $400 (US) in Taiwan, but hasn’t specified what it might cost in other markets.

While the PadFone has so far only been available in Taiwan, Asus CEO Jerry Shen has hinted that it might now reach the United States.

Speaking to Engadget, Shen said that given the device’s success in Asus’ home country — 10,000 sold per quarter month this year — it’s time to take the concept to the United States in high-end form with the PadFone Infinity.

“The fact that such an expensive device still managed to sell nearly 300 units per day in Taiwan means the user base is quite stable,” Shen said to Engadget. “So in June, I was confident enough to tell my team that it’s time to go mainstream. Without knowing our customers’ acceptance, I did not dare to go mainstream, because going mainstream requires a lot of effort.”

The PadFone Infinity is available in Hong Kong, Singapore, Russia and the United Arab Emirates. Asus hasn’t yet nailed down a release date for the United States.


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