MANILA, Philippines — Taiwanese PC vendor Asus said it did not expect the high demand for its Ultrabook line from Filipino consumers considering the steep price slapped on initial units, a local executive said recently.
Despite the quick depletion of stocks, Asus Philippines System Technical PR Eason de Guzman admitted that they are still cautious about the Ultrabook market in the Philippines, which is largely known as a price-sensitive market.
In fact, De Guzman said they only brought in about 200 for the initial batch of Asus Zenbook Ultrabooks to be sold locally, which have quickly been lapped up by consumers in about a month’s time.
Launched in November, the 13-inch Asus Zenbook UX31 retailed for P59,995, while the lower-end 11-inch UX21 model was sold for P53,995.
Despite the expensive price tag, De Guzman said consumers still went for the Ultrabook models. “The demand for the Ultrabook was really unprecedented in the Philippines,” he said. “We were a little bit hesitant of [launching] the Zenbook here, because we’re a price-sensitive market. That is why we were really shocked.”
The ASUS executive said they have plans of bringing in a fresh batch by the second week of April — around the same volume of units–along with the limited edition hot pink model.
Still, De Guzman said they have observed that consumers who are capable of buying a P40,000 computer would still opt for a high-performance one instead of the portability offered by Ultrabooks.
“They would still prefer the high-end performance notebook, even if still a little bit bulky,” he said. “People who buy Ultrabook buy it for the portability and the design.”
While Ultrabooks constitute just a minute part of the computer company’s overall sales, the executive said they are seeing big potential for the new segment “because Intel is really pushing for Ultrabooks.”
The plan, according to him, is to have Ultrabooks the standard form factor for notebooks in three years’ time. Intel had earlier announced they are seeing as much as 40 percent Ultrabook penetration by the end of 2012.
He further disclosed that they are looking to do a refresh of their Zenbook line this year, especially after the launch of Intel’s new processors. ”
“During the upgrade of Intel processors in April 29, look forward to announcement from Asus as well,” he added.
Just recently, Asus launched a hot pink version of its Zenbook UX31 Ultrabook, which brandishes a neon pink color on the lid while the inner body is coated in black. The unit’s keyboard prints are also printed in pink to make the unit stand out from its counterparts.
The hot pink Zenbook still boasts of incredible speed with 2 seconds Instant On, incredible performance with 2nd Gen Intel Core processors and incredible beauty with a 3mm
height in front and 9mm height at the back.
It will retail for P59,995 and will become available by the first week of April.