Jan 17, 2013 10:12 AM EST
ASUS, known for its Android-based devices like the Nexus 7 tablet for Google, is considering a Windows Phone 8 licensing deal with Microsoft.
The ambitious plan was revealed by its corporate vice president of mobile communication products, Benson Lin, during an interview with The Wall Street Journal when he said his firm is interested in making Windows Phones. "With our PadFone concept, the phone plus tablet, I think it makes sense for Windows 8," Lin said.
According to the report, ASUS made its prospects of making a Windows 8-based smartphone of its PadFone, which is a combination of a smartphone and a tablet, to Microsoft in its efforts to expand its smartphone business that is currently in its infancy. However, Lin said there is no target timeline as to when the proposed project would take off.
Taiwanese PC maker Asustek Computer, widely known as ASUS, had a successful run with its Nexus 7 tablet; however, it could not brand itself to be regarded a global player so far since its origin in 1989. In addition, the company has not been able to make a strong brand presence in the U.S., WSJ reported. Lin said the company is in talks to telecom operators in the U.S. to explore the chances of a possible U.S. launch of its phones.
ASUS launched its first PadFone, a high-end mobile phone that dock into a tablet, last April followed by a 4.5-inch second-generation Android-based phone, PadFone2, that docks into a 10.1-inch tablet.
There are a few facts that makes experts skeptical of the possibility of a Windows 8-based PadFone. Firstly, the earlier version of Android-based PadFone enjoyed a range of screen sizes. However, Windows Phone 8 has some strict norms of the screen sizes as we are yet to see any 7- or 10-inch Windows Phone devices. Secondly, Windows tablets run RT and smartphones run Windows 8, and currently, manufactures do not have the flexibility of fitting both and changing between the two, which is exactly what a PadFone requires.
It remains to be seen how exactly ASUS would work it out with Microsoft to develop a next-gen PadFone given the above reason that makes it difficult to create the ambitious ASUS product running on Windows.
However, the surge of computer makers getting into the smartphone market is well justified with the fact that smartphone shipments grew 45 percent in 2012 in comparison with a 3.2 percent decline in PCs.