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Why are people disappointed with the Zenfone 3?




Right after Asus Philippines announced the local suggested retail price of the Zenfone 3 line-up, a lot of people were complaining about the local pricing. The contention was not whether the Zenfone 3 was reasonably priced or not, but about the apparent mis-representation that Asus Global had made when it first announced the line-up back in May.

Let’s illustrate what was promised last May 2016 when the Zenfone 3 was announced. The Zenfone 3 was promoted to be priced between $249 and $499. Here’s the chart to compare the specs and the starting prices.

Filipinos love to make direct forex conversions. They know there will be some discrepancy due to importation taxes and VAT but those factors should not deviate by a lot from the global MSRP (we reckon a 15-20% is normally tolerable).

But when the announcements were made yesterday, the prices were off the charts. Let’s do a comparison between the announced global MSRP and the Philippine SRP ($1=Php47).

Zenfone 3 5.2″
Snapdragon 625
3GB RAM
32GB internal storage
Announced SRP: $249 = Php11,700 (3GB/32GB)
Philippine SRP: Php16,995 (4GB/64GB)

Zenfone 3 Deluxe
Snapdragon 820
6GB RAM
64GB internal storage
Announced SRP: $499 = ~Php23,500
Philippine SRP: Php34,995
Discrepancy: Php11,500 (49% higher)

Zenfone 3 Ultra
Snapdragon 652
4GB RAM
64GB internal storage
Announced SRP: $479 = Php22,500
Philippine SRP: Php32,995
Discrepancy: Php10,500 (47% higher)

While the price of the Zenfone 3 5.2 and 5.5 inches are quite debatable if they’re indeed spot on, the focus was more on the discrepancy of the pricing with the Zenfone 3 Deluxe and Zenfone 3 Ultra. The differences were close to 50% of what was stated back in May.

Expectations were doused with disappointments. And we can’t really blame them. While we don’t dismiss that Asus PH is well within their rights to be ambitious (they basically have the best specs of any smartphone on Earth!) with their pricing for the ZF3 Deluxe and ZF3 Ultra, the promised SRP was far from the actual.

There lies the problem. Though we think it’s fine to set the price of the 5.2-inch Zenfone 3 (4GB/64GB) at Php16,995, the perceived “overpricing” of the ZF3 Deluxe and ZF3 Ultra might just have ruined whatever good will they’ve earned from their loyal base.

Also read — “6 smartphones that Asus wants to beat with the Zenfone 3“.



Abe is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of YugaTech. You Can follow him on Twitter @abeolandres.

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67 Responses

  1. Jackpot says:

    En punto!

  2. kabebegirl says:

    Kung pinatuloy lang sana nila ang branding nila as magandang quality phones pero affordable. Wrong move, sumusunod sa yapak ng Sony. Charot.

  3. NotASheep says:

    We’ll just see next year i guess, if Asus still wants to play Samsung, well we can’t have two Samsung’s in one place can we?

  4. NotASheep says:

    Also like to point out, why the fuck are they using a glass body!? to jack up the prices??? to give it more sex appeal? we are more afraid to buy it thanks to it’s “Beautiful Expensive” body~ seriously we bought your plastic phones and we praised it Asus because it was cheap and we wouldn’t be worried when we drop it by accident because it’s just plastic and the cover can be replaced.

  5. Whateva says:

    Natumbok mo Sir Yuga! Actually ako nga pag nag convert ni rerekta ko na sa PhP50 and not 47,then plus taxes and VAT, pero wala padin sala padin sa computation. Okay lang naman kung mag price increase sila, pero I hope di garapalan, sana dinahan dahan nila, maiintindihan naman ng mga consumers kung san nangaling ang price increase eh, especially with the revamped design. Really really big markup price for the Deluxe and Ultra, sayang, yun flagship nila talagang isinagad na directly against more popular manufactuters. Dapat pinag aralan nila mabuti ang pricing nila and learn from others, like Sony, LG and BlackBerry na kung titignan mo ngayon eh pahirapan din sila sa bentahan. Saturated na masyado ang labanan ng smartphones, napakadaming players and choices especially mga China brand. Sa mga consumers wala naman mawawala, andami nilang choices pag di kinaya ng budget sa Asus, eh papaano ka ngayon nyan Asus kung nasanay ka na dati na tiba tiba ka sa sales? Papaano ang future mo nyan, and R&D mo, ano sa 2017 balik na ulit tayo sa pagiging bang?

  6. Josh says:

    Korek ka jan ‘dre. Asus has become too ambitious with their current pricing scheme (at least in the Philippines). They believe that their loyal customers will sink their teeth into their overpriced gadgets – hook, line and sinker. Well, probably they are in for a big disappointment. I, for one, will not make a purchase, at least this year, even if I have a hunkering for their well-specced offerings.
    (coming from an owner of Zenfone 2 De Luxe)

  7. EGGo says:

    disappointed tlaga.. even the price of the zenfone 3 laser.. sana dumating c xiaomi redmi 3s prime sa pinas with almost same specs as the zen laser 3 but with a price of Rs.8999 which is around Php6.5k when directly converted . i thought it will not go higher than 8k c laser sabi ko pa nman if i can’t afford to buy the zenfone 3 maybe zenfone 3 laser will be.. pero overpricing parin… huhuhu

  8. avatar says:

    Much cheaper Alternatives:

    For Zenfone 3 Ultra: Xiaomi Mi Max (almost similar specs) – P 13,000 http://www.widgetcity.com.ph/product/xiaomi-mi-max-service-warranty/

    For Zenfone 3 Deluxe: One Plus 3 – P 21,000 (Lazada and other stores)
    Xiaomi Mi5 – P 15,000 – 18,000 (Lazada and other stores)
    Xiaomi Mi Note 2 – to be announced very soon
    Vivo X5 Play Elite – waiting for availability

    List is far from complete.

    Choice is good, people!

  9. Ger says:

    Madami pa siguro silang stock ng zenfone 2. Maybe that’s the logical reason…

  10. The OC says:

    Disappointed as well; all that additional features for a higher price, and they can’t even light up those buttons at the bottom? LOL

  11. Kuyumad says:

    Sana man lang ginawa nilang 13k ung zenfone 3 5.2 version. (3gb ram 32gb internal)

    Foot-tounge-in-awe Asus!

  12. Jet Solis says:

    Disappointed move by ASUS, their design is like the fusion of Sony, Apple and Samsung. The Non-removable battery is also a downside. for me the best Zenfones are still the original and the 2nd Batch

  13. aeoshy says:

    This is a more sensible article that the one I read from another tech blog. :D

  14. Ottep says:

    Super disappointed with the pricing of the Deluxe. So looking forward on buying 2 units (for me and my wife) if the price range is only 20 – 25k. But now, NO WAY. This is the effect of all those commercials and the “patakam” factor they did. Did not expect that they will price those units this high. Too bad. ????????

  15. FYI says:

    Meron pang xiaomi guys ang problema kinalimutan na tayo. Wala ba silang balak ipasok yung redmi 3s prime snapdragon 430 3GB/32GB, xiaomi redmi note 3 snapdragon 650 3GB/64B at mi max snapdragon 652 3GB/4GB RAM 64GB/124GB ROM. Mejo mahal yung mga nasa widget city na xiaomi service warranty pa. Pwede naman bilin sa mga online stores sa china walang tax at free shipping fee pa, pero wala na ba yung mga bwaya sa customs?

  16. Rabbitkun says:

    the Deluxe & Max ang overpriced talaga the 64gb zenfone 3 is justifiable naman

  17. fish says:

    i was expecting the deluxe variant to be around 22 – 23k. sa oneplus 3 nalang ako….

  18. fcsean says:

    Asus has always been an ass in pricing. Their GPUs are way overpriced here.

  19. Yeehaw says:

    In fairness we should have seen this coming when they releases that 26k-ish Zenfone Zoom.

    Who spends that much money on a relative smartphone newcomer? Most people who spends upwards of 20K wants to be seen with a phone from a top brand.

    35-45K for an ASUS phone? Its mind boggling. Who’s going to spend that much on a freaking ASUS phone?
    Even mighty SONY struggles to survive with that kind of pricing and here comes lowly ASUS trying the same thing. Granted they have better specs but come on, they are still just ASUS, for now.

  20. ishtangli says:

    I was considering the Deluxe but at that price, I’d rather spend a little more for a Note 4 or maybe even less for a Oneplus 3.

  21. SAYAAANG says:

    bakit nga ba mas mataas ang price ngayon?
    -may endorser na sila.
    -mas expensive ang materials ng outer part (metal) unlike the zen2 na brushed metal plastic lang.
    then again, parang hindi tugma yung price sa makukuha mo…

  22. JP says:

    Yang price ng DeLuxe and Ultra? Sino bibili niyan!!? E konting dagdag na lang, may IRIS scanner ka na and a lot more features. RAM lang and 21MP camera ang lamang nito sa Note 7. Good work Asus! You just pushed people into buying the Samsung Note 7

  23. ron says:

    alisin nalang ng asus yung mga endorsers nila tapos ibaba ang price.

  24. kangkong says:

    htc version 2!

    one word… kangkungan!

  25. BebeShit says:

    Very price sensitive ang mga tao sa pinas. Pinantay ng asus sa samsung ung price eh, yan nagtampo mga tao. Pero kung bibili man ng mahal dun na sa mas may pangalan etc etc.

    • BebeShit says:

      Besides, merong iba pangproducts na same/greater specs at a lower price. Kaya lng naman sumikat asus dahil sa price eh. Sorry nlng ngaun haha.

    • Code58680 says:

      In my view, absurd ung price increases nila, and the fact that, lahat naman ng company gusto malaking income. Lahat naman ng tao mukang pera(with reservations) at pinapaikot ng pera ang mundong ito, so wag na magulat guys HAHAHAHAHA.

  26. Orangeisnewblack says:

    I bought Zenfone2 because I’m not willing to pay the Note or S prices of Samsung even if i wanted their specs and I can afford them for the simple reason that these smartphones become obsolete 2-3 months after purchasing. It seems so pointless. So Zenfone2 appealed to me because it offered flagship specs at a mid-range price, and a good brand – Asus. But with Zenfone3’s prices, I now find myself considering buying Note 7 more than Zenfone3. Or not buying anything since it’s just a 15 month old phone. Personally I’m bummed because phone companies think smartphone consumers are sheep. Just because we bought your previous model and loved it doesn’t mean we’ll buy the next. Gradually increasing your prices every iteration doesn’t mean we won’t notice that you’re simply jacking up the price to meet the flagship prices of established brands eventually. So I guess this means there’s a new vacuum in the market. There are other brands who positioned themselves similar to what Asus did but don’t have the strength as Asus’ brand. I’m not about to buy a Xioami or O whatever. So yeah, this pricing move compels me not to buy Zenfone3 but finally something from the Note or S line of Samsung. This is my personal opinion and experience, some of you may disagree and some may agree. Let’s not troll the comments section.

  27. ZenUSER says:

    As an accountant…, If the Zenfone3 is priced at P11,703(47x$249) then according to my calculation, the price would be P13,982 with Tax included… Are you(ASUS) joking with P16,995 right?

    • avatar says:

      You are an accountant alright but you are not a business or economics major. I do not like trolling but people should understand that there are other factors and intangibles that you need to consider to come out with a price point. As a former university professor, however, I am not keen on giving a lecture now. Sorry.

    • ooo says:

      bla bla. baka taga asus ka at protektor ka nila.

    • ZenUSER says:

      @AVATAR….Edi ikaw na….(slow clap) 3x

    • Grammarcheck says:

      @AVATAR as a professor, you would know that the $499 price would already contain those “other factors and intangibles” that you are saying right?

    • FriedChick says:

      Accountant ba tlga? Nakapagboard ka naba o di pumasa kawawa naman. Worst baka kun saan saan mo lng pinagawa yang diploma mo. Saan mo ba pinagawa diploma mo para “accountant ako” na akong line.

  28. Aysus says:

    Wala namang nagrereklamo sa specs/performance. Pinaka-issue talaga dito PINAASA tayo ng ASUS dahil sa napakacompetitive na SRP na nilabas nila nung announcement 3 months ago. Dami naghintay, sino ba naman hindi sa 250$ DAW na base unit?

    Totoo sa scenario na to yung kasabihang IF IT’S TOO GOOD TO B TRUE…….

    250$ daw yung base unit, malamang 15K yan kung sakaling irelease dito.
    500$ daw yung deluxe, naging 35K. Yung Ultra 480$ naging 33K.

    Sana di na lang sila naglabas ng suggested prices nung announcement. Pero mas malala pa nga ang prices sa Malaysia at Thailand hahaha.

  29. danbrownjack says:

    Samsung will be the big benefactor from this pricing scheme circus of Asus. They got really ambitious at an early stage. What a joke! :P

  30. concernedcitizen says:

    I think first of all people here don’t understand that the price was supposed to be for other countries. Let me break down a couple of additional charges that a “normal” company that imports, resell and operate here in philippines.

    1. Importation cost – Of course product needs to be imported and needs logistics, freight and warehousing. usually 6-10% of actual cost.

    2. Currency fluctuation – when you do retail of products, you dont use the exact exchange rate that is currently on the BSP, there will be price fluctuations and unless you want to do a change of price every day, they usually add additional price on the exchange rate (if 47 on buy/sell they may use 49 on exchange rate) for protection

    3. Spares and services – Unit comes with manufacturer’s warranty but still local companies needs to stock up on spares. Unless every one here wants a 60-90 days waiting time on parts shipment from their factory from other countries, they of course needs to stock up on parts locally (though this maybe spread on the units being shipped here)

    4. Margin – Selling price may vary depending on country/s target. If ASUS US needs to gain market share of course they need to lower their margin in US. But since we are on 3rd world with a not so much stellar focus in terms of Mobile Phones (Admit it or not, PH has lots and lots of chinese handsets).

    5. VAT -> we have one of the highest tax rates.

    So if we use 249USD for example we can come up to a sample computation:

    249USD (base price) x 1.10 (10% importation cost) x 1.12 (VAT) x (49 Peso to 1 USD) = 15031.632 PHP

    And retail price is 17k. So we have a 2k difference which includes parts/services and ASUS PH Margin.

    And the other prices now would seem a bit logical.

    And I think Yugatech is quite shameful and irresponsible here not to note on these basic facts.

    • Abe Olandres says:

      While we acknowledge your inputs, the computations you outlined should apply to ALL devices imported right?

      So, basing on your computation, the Samsung Galaxy Note7 with a global MSRP of $900 should be sold for = $900 x 1.10 (10% importation cost) x 1.12 (12% VAT) x Php49/USD = Php54,330 and not just Php39,990.

    • Abe Olandres says:

      Likewise, let’s also use your computation for the $1,499 of the Asus Zenbook 3:

      $1,499 (MSRP) x 1.10 (10% import tax) x 1.12 (12% VAT) x Php49/USD = Php90,500

      But Asus PH was able to price it at Php79,995.

      In order to get to the actual SRP, here’s our formula: $1,499 (MSRP) x 1.12 (12% VAT) x Php47/USD = Php78,900. This is the closest figure we got using our own formula.

    • Abe Olandres says:

      We also think it’s very irresponsible of you to introduce a formula without actually checking if it applies to the Zenfone 3, ZF3 Deluxe, Zenbook 3, Transformer 3. We checked. It didn’t.

    • concernedcitizen says:

      Well I still don’t think it is overpriced:

      Malaysia – RM 1,499 ~ 17400 PHP
      Thailand – 11,990 THB – ~16000 PHP

      Meaning this is not only in PH but South East Asia Region.

      Which we may assume that price was from ASUS ASIA Pacific not on ASUS PH which is taking the blame here on your article

    • Abe Olandres says:

      We never said it was overpriced. That wasn’t the issue. The issue was about the announced price ($USD) and the retail price (PHP). And this article is also applicable if it were written in Thailand or Malaysia.

      In the same line of reasoning, we can also write “Why are people NOT disappointed with the Zenbook 3 and Transformer 3”?

      Answer: Because their announced MSRP ($USD) is pretty close to the retail price (PHP).

    • yolopascual says:

      Look at samsung’s srp then compare it to the actual retail price then comeback here.

    • evereth says:

      Si John siguro yan from unbox. Joke. Ok daw price ng zf3.

    • Grammarcheck says:

      I agree with Abe, but i’ll expound on it a bit more.

      1. Importation cost – while definitely true, this only applies if you imported from US (like amazon and ebay US). You should know that the $499 already is inclusive of importation costs. If any, it should be cheaper here, since taiwan (ASUS home country), is a neighboring country. And also, since ASUS ships their product on bulk, it should be likely that they incur insignificant shipping costs.

      2. Currency fluctuations – while this is definitely a thing, this should apply not only on the Philippines, but for the prices everywhere. And also, even if you account for 1 USD = 50Php, prices are still too much.

      3. Spares and Services – on cost accounting, amount for spares, warranty, allowance for obsolescence and repairs, are already accounted for on the product cost. They forecast an expected warranty rate, and prices are adjusted accordingly. We should remind you that the $499 for the Zenfone 3 deluxe is not the product’s Material, labor, and overhead cost, but the product’s selling price, which already has it included.

      4. Margin – This is where something went wrong. I disagree with your opinion but this is where something went wrong. You said that they lower their prices on the US, since they need to gain market share there. You should know that the Philippines is one of the fastest growing smartphone market, and is a third-world country. It should make sense that sellers price it lower here, or at least the same as the global prices since we have less purchasing power here than first world countries.

      5. VAT – This is the only thing you got right. However, not because Philippines has the highest VAT rate, but because US prices are exclusive of VAT, since their sales tax vary depending on the location (State) of sale

      So please. You should do more research, or do not comment your reactions without further research. You should not state that “Yugatech is quite shameful and irresponsible here not to note on these basic facts.” It definitely is illogical to purchase a $500 phone for Flagship Prices.

    • Grammarcheck says:

      The only logical reason for Asus to post these prices is that they got overly greedy with their successes on Southeast asian countries, but they forgot that the reason for their success is their competitive prices.

    • CONCERNEDCITIZEN says:

      #BoomBasag ka ngayon, formula formula ka pang nalalaman eh mali naman yung computation. Reveal your true you!

    • you just got schooled! :D

    • ZenUSER says:

      I would like to share my ESTIMATE using accounting…
      Suppose I agree with your breakdown of additional charges then here’s my computation…

      ZenFone Deluxe:
      Announced SRP: $499 = Php23,453
      $1 = P47

      Additional Charges:
      Importation Cost = Php2,345 (10% of cost)
      Currency Fluctuation = Php998 (P2x$499)
      Spare&Services = Included in announced price
      Margin = Included in announced price
      VAT = Php2,814 ($499×40%markup = $199.6xP47exchange rate = P9,381×30%corporate tax = P2,814)

      P23,453 + P2,345 + P998 + P2,814 = P29,610 or P30,000

      Philippine SRP: Php34,995
      My ESTIMATE: Php30,000

      See?

    • FriedChick says:

      I dedicate my comment to zenfoneuser #accountant #accounting #wanabe d kailangan maging accountant at d kailangan ang accounting para lng masa solve ang pinagagawa mo. Wag kang manaG dahil ang isang basurang katulad mo ay d nababagay sa isang professional level. Un lng. Basura ka. Basic math, logic at analysis ang kaialangan para malaman ang katotohanan behind sa price ng Asus.

  31. AY SUS says:

    Simply put, Asus Philippines is greedier than Samsung Philippines in terms of the Zenfone 3 just basing from Abe’s comparison. Bad move Asus PH!

  32. Mel says:

    I’m more disappointed with Asus going for hybrid SIM slots instead of having a dedicated SD card slot as before, makes having a dual-SIM device useless:-P

  33. nona says:

    ASUS shot themselves on the feet with their pricing. Maliwanag pa sa sikat ng araw na mataas nga ang nilabas nila na pricing ng Zenfone 3.

    Another point of comparison para sa price (hindi sa specs):

    64GB iPhone SE = $499 (US, excluding tax) = P29,590 (PH SRP, including tax / as low as P26k on some retailers still w/ local warranty)

    64GB Zenfone 3 Deluxe = $499 (excluding tax) = P34,995 (PH SRP, including tax)

    Ano nangyari sa kanila?

  34. greninja says:

    Asus had a niche market and they abandoned it, so they could play with the Apple and Samsung game, sad. Now I totally regret having an Asus phone, atleast now it’s clearer what phone I need to buy this time.

  35. M says:

    is ASUS thinking like he is now APPLE? where every product presented would be SOLD..

    i hope they bring down the prices to what they previously do..

  36. Sam says:

    ako ill wait na lang baka mahimasmasan at mag mura sila, if may bumili ng asus, eh di good.. kasi im not going to buy Asus in 34k price… Note 7 na lang ako…

  37. Mik says:

    Nakabili ako nung Aug 14 ng Zenfone 3 5.2 inch sa SM Mall of Asia. Yung price niya dun ay 16,999 PHP nga. Pero kaya daw 17k yung price nung base model ng ZF3, yun daw yung 5.2 inch 4gb RAM and 64 GB Storage. YUng 11k na sinasabi ng iba ay yung 3gb ram and 32 gb storage model. Sabi nung nagbebenta dun, baka daw di maglabas ng ng 3gb model dito sa pinas. Kaya yung 17k yung naging base model satin.

    • PePe says:

      Bobo, ung announced price vs offcial ph price kasi pinaguusapan dito. Kung ano ano pinagsasabi nitong bobong toh. Shut up nlng. Eh ano ngaun kung nakabili ka na? Walang nagtatanong plus bobo ka pa. May pera ka lng pero bobo ano silbi? So bobo.

    • FriedChick says:

      Wala pong may paki kung nakabili ka na kuya meron din kamin pera pambili. Ano pong model yan gawagawa ng model kayo kuya baka nakaw yan or Class A.

  38. PePe says:

    Kung may pera bumili, pagwala edi wala/magtiis/umiyak/magipon/nxt year/2nd hand/bili ng iba! But gagastos ng malaki for a new phone? Anong brand, Asus?! HELL NO!!! Mag Apple or Samsung nlng ako, super okay in all angles pa! Ehem. Ung nagtitipid jan baka pwede naman maglabas ng tagong yaman, d mo madadala sa langit yan, enjoy life. ehem.

  39. kung kailangan pa mag-justify or mag-breakdown ng cost, ibig sabihin mali nga talaga yung price point. wag na kayo mag-away, ang best response diyan wag nalang bumili kung na-bad trip kayo.

  40. Edbit33 says:

    Lets just wait for the sales figures . No need for long computations. That will settle it

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