Asus Malaysia has drawn the intense ire and frustration of many Malaysians, after it was revealed that the Malaysian variant of the ZenFone 5 – which was launched just three weeks ago – sports inferior hardware compared to the ZenFone 5 variant sold in the Chinese market. And it’s not just for one component either – the Malaysian ZenFone 5 has a slower processor, and half the RAM and internal storage compared to the Chinese variant.
The Malaysian variant of the Asus ZenFone 5 bears the model number A501CG, while the Chinese variant has the model number A500CG. While the model number suggests that it may just be a small difference, it is actually quite apparent when you take a look at the specs of the two variants:
As you can clearly see from the table above, the key hardware components – the processor, RAM, and storage – in the Malaysian unit is significantly inferior to the variant sold in the Chinese market. What’s more, this Chinese variant retails for 999 Yuan – roughly RM520 by today’s exchange rate. In Malaysia, the underpowered ZenFone 5 is retailing at RM599.
Naturally, many Malaysian consumers are up in arms about what they presume to be greediness in Asus Malaysia’s part. On the company’s official Facebook page, nearly each of the posts that mentions the ZenFone contains comments from irate Malaysians, many of whom were also annoyed by the fact that the ZenFone series’ availability here has been delayed since early April.
At the time of writing, Asus Malaysia has not yet directly attended to the many angry comments – though one might consider replying to the angry group of people to be an exercise in futility. It may prove to be the company’s undoing, though: some comments have made mention of grey importers selling the Chinese variant at the same price as the Malaysian underpowered version, while others claimed to “give up” on Asus and go for better options instead, such as the recently-announced (and currently available) Huawei Honor 3C.
In any case, we sure hope Asus Malaysia comes up with some sort of statement regarding this matter soon, as it could turn out to be a pretty ugly affair in terms of building customer relations. After all, its shoddy after sales service for its laptops has already become a well-known fact among Malaysian consumers, even if it has improved since then.
Or, you know, they could just start making the ZenFone models available for purchase.