When asked whether Asus would consider selling smartphones, the response from corporate vice-president Benson Lin was clear: "Yes, why not?"
With a high-spec phone at the core of the new Padfone 2, Asus could be set to shake things up in the smartphone world and challenge the likes of Samsung or HTC.
Talking to Pocket-lint at the launch of the Padfone 2 in Milan, Lin told us to expect more Padfone devices in the future, while also speculating that selling smartphones alone might be on the cards and acknowledging that the high specs of the Padfone would challenge the likes of the HTC One X and Samsung Galaxy S III.
Lin also referred to the Padfone as "a continuous line of products", so we can expect to see more devices of this nature in the future.
Lin's passion for Padfone 2 was evident, as he detailed just how much time went into perfecting the latest Asus device. The key thing about this symbiotic partnership between phone and tablet is that the docking mechanism needed to be perfect.
"The competition is so strong," said Lin, before explaining that it had been in development for two years and that the docking mechanism had taken more than a year for engineers to perfect.
With the Padfone 2 the phone slides in and out with ease, yet is securely in place once docked. Lin was happy to demonstrate this, shaking the Padfone 2 around vigorously. It's very clever and in our own hands-on time with the Padfone 2 today, it feels right too.
From what we've seen so far, Asus could be a real contender. The real challenge, however, is convincing the buying public, early adopters and gadget fans that the Padfone is a viable option and that the next smartphone in your pocket could be from Asus.
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