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Pepsi WIll Launch Its First Smartphone In China

By Jan David Perianes , Oct 14, 2015 01:58 AM EDT
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In a shocking turn of events, PepsiCo, a longtime beverage conglomerate that has always been known for its trusty soda business, is jumping into the lucrative smartphone market as it plans to work with a licensing partner to bring its very first handset and a wave of accessories in China in a couple of months. How's that for a turnout?

Dubbed as the Pepsi P1, the beverage conglomerate's first smartphone belongs to the category of midrange handsets in today's standards. For starters, it features a 5.5-inch full HD display, a 1.7GHz CPU, 2GB of RAM, 3,000mAh of battery, and a 13MP primary shooter for snapping up images. The P1 wouldn't possibly turn heads with those specifications alone, but PepsiCo plans to leverage its longstanding name and the cheap price of the handset at $205 to step it up against the competition in the segment.

Of course, the obvious draw of the P1 is the price tag that it comes with. Although US$205 for that specs sheet would be considered as cheap, but seeing that Android smartphones in China cost nearly a dime a dozen, the P1 would relatively have to come with a lower price tag for it to garner more attention in China.

However, PepsiCo isn't planning on getting into the mobile phone manufacturing business, but it will be licensing its brand name to the upcoming series of smartphones starting with the Pepsi P1. This has been a move previously made by top brands before. Kodak has already licensed its name for the first Kodak smartphone, although it did not have an advanced camera technology that would have made it unique. Nokia had also licensed its branding to Foxconn for the N1 tablet.

Other companies that have brought its branding into the smartphone category are Marshall and Caterpillar. The former brought an audiophile-centric smartphone that features two headphone jacks and a dedicated audio chip, with the latter having a rugged design to fit its heavy-duty demographic. The pairing of Pepsi and smartphones would seem to be awkward as a beverage would do little to nothing on a smartphone. A promotion about bottle caps, perhaps?

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