Will absorb impact of falling rupee, won’t hike prices in India

Taiwanese tech giant ASUS will absorb the impact of the falling rupee against the US dollar and will not raise smartphone prices for consumers in India, even though some of its competitors like Xiaomi have chosen to do so.

ASUS India Head (Mobile Business) Dinesh Sharma said despite the ongoing rupee-dollar fluctuation, the company has “decided to absorb the cost currently”.

“We’re committed to the Indian market and thrive to keep our fans happy … We are glad to announce that none of our ZenFones will see an increase in price,” he said.

Earlier this month, Xiaomi had said that rupee’s slide against the US dollar is adding to pricing pressure. It had hiked prices of two of its handsets, Redmi 6 and Redmi 6A, as well as that of power banks and some television sets on account of the depreciation of the rupee against the greenback by about 15 percent.

Like ASUS, players like Infinix have also chosen to absorb the impact in order to maintain their position in the smartphone market that is witnessing an intense competition.

Infinix India CEO Anish Kapoor had said making handsets in India has helped offset some of the impact, but payments for raw material is done in dollars and that in turn had an effect on the final pricing of the devices.

“It is a competitive market and therefore, we haven’t increased prices of our existing portfolio. The new launches, however, factor in the impact,” he had told PTI.

India is a key market for smartphone players as it continues to grow at a strong pace. According to research firm IDC, smartphone shipments in India touched an all-time high of 42.6 million units in July-September 2018 quarter, registering an year-on-year growth of 9.1 percent.

Xiaomi led the smartphone tally with shipment of 11.7 million units and 27.3 percent market share, followed by Samsung with 9.6 million units (22.6 percent share), Vivo’s 4.5 million units (10.5 percent share), Micromax with 2.9 million units (6.9 percent share), and Oppo with 2.9 million units (6.7 percent share).

In a separate statement, ASUS announced the launch of its gaming smartphone – ROG Phone for Rs 69,999.

The premium handset, which is primarily for gaming enthusiasts, comes with Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 octa-core processor, six-inch display, 8GB RAM, 128GB storage, 12MP rear and 8MP front camera, and 4,000mAh battery.