China’s overheated smartphone history is set to receive another contender. This time, however, it’s coming from a brand that’s literally “out of the blue.” The global beverage giant Pepsi is preparing to release Pepsi-brand smartphones in China in the next few months.
Not a Global Release
The surprising and somewhat absurd news, however, comes with a catch: Pepsi is only releasing it in China. A PepsiCo Spokeswoman confirmed the news, “Available in China only, this effort is similar to recent globally licensed Pepsi products which include apparel and accessories.” She added that the beverage giant has no plans to establish itself as a competitor in the smartphone industry.
Pepsi will be working with a yet undisclosed partner, which will manufacture the phones while Pepsi itself lends its names to the products. The first Pepsi model smartphone, called the Pepsi P1, will apparently make its debut on October 20, and will reportedly cost $205. The price is somewhat appealing to consumers who desire a smartphone but can’t afford the more high-end products in the increasingly congested market.
A ‘Decent’ Smartphone
Reports say that the smartphone itself is “decent,” with no high-end specs, which include a 5.5-inch display and a 1.7GHz processor and 16GB internal storage — all of which seem to be standard for most smartphones in today’s market.
Although Pepsi itself isn’t exactly competing in China’s smartphone market, many commentators don’t exactly have an optimistic view of its future sales. In fact, many suspect that the Pepsi P1 will have a considerably difficult time going toe to toe or even establishing itself in a market rife with price wars between domestic smartphone brands and global giants. Pepsi, as a soda brand, may generate interest somewhat, but with its less than impressive specs, it may not be enough to make the unit stand out.
The licensing deal may flop, but there’s no doubt how influential this somewhat unorthodox strategy will be to the beverage giant. Although Pepsi has not disclosed their reasoning behind creating a line of Pepsi-branded smartphones, many analysts agree that this is a good way to generate interest in a novel way.
With China expecting the release of the Pepsi P1 next week, it seems that only time can tell if this line of beverage-inspired smartphones will prove to be a hit, or come out dry without any fizz and flavor.