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Asus ZenFone 3 is in the works, promises USB Type-C

The Taiwanese electronics giant is preparing a ZenFone 3, with chairman Jonney Shih revealing the device will be USB Type-C compatible.

Asus is preparing the next generations of ZenFones. Seen here is the ZenFone 2.

Aloysius Low/CNET

USB Type-C could be the smartphone buzzword of 2016, with Asus the latest phonemaker to confirm it's planning to include the reversible connection on its next-generation phones.

Asus chairman Jonney Shih says the ZenFone 3 is in the works, telling Trusted Reviews that it will feature USB Type-C.

"I think Type-C is the way to go, frankly speaking," Shih said. "You will see the answer when you see the ZenFone 3," he cryptically added, though he did not provide any other specifications on the apparently work-in-progress device.

Asus has released several different variations of its ZenFone 2 since the original launched back in March, with more still on the way. Despite its obvious belief in the ZenFone 2, however, the Taiwanese electronics giant is preparing for the next generation.

The 5.5-inch ZenFone 2 was touted as the first smartphone to have 4GB of RAM. Variants have included, among others, the Laser , with an improved rear camera, the Selfie , with an improved front camera, and 6-inch Max models. CEO Jerry Shen said in August that 2016 would see the release of around seven ZenFones -- though he didn't state whether they would be ZenFone 2s or 3s.

USB Type-C is currently a rare commodity in the smartphone market -- only a handful of devices, such as the OnePlus Two , Xiaomi Mi 4c, Nexus 6P and 5X , are compatible with the high-speed USB format. As well as faster charging and data transfer, Type-C is prized for its conveniently reversible connector.

Asus' ZenFone range represents the company's attempt to tackle the world's emerging smartphone markets, such as India and Brazil. The ZenFone 2 starts from $199 (around £130 and AU$275).