This smartphone gives you diabetes (Pepsi P1: China's $205 Android)

Pepsi moving “at the speed of culture.” But will it bring your ancestors back from the dead?
[You're fired -Ed.]

Pepsi P1 PepsiCo smartphone
Richard Vandervord

Sugary-drink pusher PepsiCo is making a phone. Well, “licensing its brand” rather than actually making it. But it's still a head-scratcher, whatever the mechanics.

The Pepsi P1 is expected to launch next Tuesday, with a reasonable set of specs. Nothing Earth-shattering, but pretty decent for $205. No word on who the ODM is.

But it's only for Chinese consumers. So unless you can manage to import one, look elsewhere for your next diabetes-inducing BYOD toy.

In IT Blogwatch, bloggers feel pudgy just reading about it. Not to mention: Yes, there really was a Pepsi Concorde...

Your humble blogwatcher curated these bloggy bits for your entertainment.
[Developing story: Updated 8:15 am PT with more comment]

Subrat Patnaik is sweet enough to confirm the earlier rumor:

PepsiCo Inc said on Monday it is working with a licensing partner to market a line of mobile phones and accessories in China.

PepsiCo already has many licensees across a number of categories. Last year, it tied up with companies such as Danish luxury stereo and TV maker Bang & Olufsen.  MORE

And Daniel Csaki claims his delicious, refreshing, lard-bringing prize:

Looks like our guesses on PepsiCo China’s upcoming smartphone were right. ... According to Chinese sources [it] will be presented in Beijing on October 20.

A 5.5-inch 1080p display, 1.7GHZ MT6592 SoC. 2GB of RAM [and] 16GB internal storage is somewhat average, but the camera is...a 13-megapixel rear and a 5-megapixel front...backed by a 3000 mAh battery. ... The Pepsi P1 will be running on Android 5.1.

[It] is going to be interesting to see a beverage company to step in to the smartphone industry.  MORE

But Ben Lovejoy called the first rumor "sketchy" before he read Patnaik's report:

The sugar water maker is indeed planning to launch a smartphone.

Never mind Android versus Apple...the next smartphone battle could be Pepsi v Coke.  MORE

Michal Addady is the daddy, adding:

Just one day later, October 21, marks the day that Marty McFly time traveled to 2015 in Back to the Future II and enjoyed a futuristic Pepsi.  MORE

In case you're asking where the advertising angle is, Christopher Heine obliges:

A PepsiCo spokesperson [said] the effort is China-only and "similar to recent globally licensed Pepsi products which include apparel and accessories. Pepsi has always moved at the speed of culture."

It still appears to be completely uncharted territory for a packaged-goods brand. And it will be fascinating to watch whether the P1s become popular.  MORE

Meanwhile, AJ Dellinger dots the ayes:

In choosing to go the licensing route, Pepsi joins other brands like Kodak and Commodore in offering the legitimacy of its name...though at least those brands have a history with tech as opposed to fizzy corn syrup.

By just lending its name...Pepsi opens itself up to an incredible amount of opportunities for brand synergy.  MORE

Update: OK, but why? Larry Dignan explainifies:

Consumers who love Pepsi...would basically buy the device for the logo. ... Pepsi gets to market its soda in your hands [and] enable frictionless commerce apps that make buying its products easier.

[It] would easily pay for itself. ... As technology costs come down devices will essentially become throwaway items. ... Last week, Gartner analysts floated the idea [to] use wearables to achieve business goals.  MORE

And Finally...
Yes, there really was a Pepsi Concorde (in 1996) 

You have been reading IT Blogwatch by Richi Jennings, who curates the best bloggy bits, finest forums, and weirdest websites… so you don't have to. Catch the key commentary from around the Web every morning. Hatemail may be directed to @RiCHi or   Opinions expressed may not represent those of Computerworld. Ask your doctor before reading. Your mileage may vary. E&OE.

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