Dear Asus India,
I am writing this letter after seeing a trend in the way you price your tablets. I am absolutely not interested at what prices you are selling your notebooks, laptops and motherboards, as a matter of fact, I have not even bothered to check the prices.
The dam has burst after the pricing for the Nexus 7 was revealed a day before it went on sale. You have priced the Google Expirence Tablet Nexus 7 (16GB) for Rs. 19,999. Google play store has cut the pricing of the above tablet which was available for $249 (Rs. 13,500) a few days ago is now up for sale at $199 (Rs. 10,800). Why is the same tablet priced at $370 (Rs. 19,999) in India? Anyways, the new pricing has brought international attention from big name tech sites like, The Next Web covering this news.
I know that Google is not interested in earning profit on hardware sales and Asus’ business revolves around hardware sales margin, but such ridiculous high prices are absolutely unacceptable. India charges a lot of taxes on electronic products but even then a 25-30% premium on the price at which Google is retailing the device would have been a competitive and good enough price. Asus should not forget than it is not ‘Apple’ and its tablets doesn’t start with a name with the first letter, ‘i’.
It is not only about Nexus 7, Asus India is a really poorly managed division of Asustek Computers. The pricing is poor, products are announced but unavailable at stores, nobody knows about launch timeframes, most of the product hit Indian market when they are already a generation old (I am talking about you, Padfone. Padfone 2 has already arrived). You can’t buy a Transformer pad without a Keyboard dock in India (WTF!), Why? Because they want to cram that keyboard dock in your face for the extra 10,000 bucks, even if you really don’t require it.
It all started with the pricing of Transformer prime which was priced at an inexorably high price of Rs. 50,000 (almost $1000) while the device was being sold for $499 in other markets. Almost twice! Why such disparity in pricing? The greed to make unreasonable profit margins. I don’t know how many Transformer Prime units were sold in India but i am quite confident, it would have not touched a 4 digit sales figure. The trend continued with the pricing of Transformer Pad 300, The device is priced for Rs. 44,000 (almost $850) with keyboard dock. The international version costs $529 ($379 for the tablet + $150 for the keyboard dock). The device is priced at almost 75% higher than its international counterpart in India. And don’t even get me started about the Padfone, priced at Rs. 65,000 ( I am sure the sales figure must not have hit 3-digit mark).
Asus produces very good quality and best in class android tablets, but the pricing is insensitive atleast in India. India is a crucial market in long term and if the company really wants to gain a foothold, it would have to play according to the market ecomomics in a price-sensitive market like India.
I hope that somebody from ASUS India goes through this letter. The India division needs to go through a self-evaluation (Aatmamanthan) phase.
An Asus Transformer Pad TF300TG potential buyer but only if the company releases a keyboard dock-less version.