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Soda To Smartphones: Pepsi Phone To Launch In China

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The Pepsi brand continues to enjoy success in China, and now soda-branded smartphone is to be released.

First off tech-brand Oppo released a Pepsi edition of its N1 smartphone, and now another Chinese company is getting in on the act. The Pepsi Phone may look like a rebranded Oppo R7 Plus, but in fact it’s a remodeled version of the Koobee H7, reports JD.

Koobee rebrands H7 smartphone as Pepsi Phone

The original smartphone costs $250 and boasts a 5.5-inch 1080p display with 2.5D glass, MediaTek MT6592 1.7GHz octa-core processor, 16GB internal storage, 2GB RAM and backside touch fingerprint sensor. The Pepsi Phone shares these specifications but may be an older version of the handset seeing as it also features a thick metallic border.

Koobee has installed its customized Android 5.1 operating system which boasts a Pepsi theme, but the rest of the specifications are the same as the H7: 13-megapixel f/2.0 camera, 5-megapixel front camera, 3,000 mAh battery, dual SIM slots and microSD expansion (which takes up the secondary SIM slot; supports cards of up to 64GB).

The specs themselves are pretty decent considering that the phone is just 7.7mm thick and weighs only 158 grams. You can choose between Pepsi blue, gold or silver for the handset.

Demand slow for handset during crowdfunding campaign

Koobee is currently running a crowdfunding campaign for the Pepsi Phone, offering two options. The P1 offers TD-LTE and TD-SCDMA radios for China Mobile, while the P1s also features FDD-LTE and WCDMA for China Unicom and other carriers around the world.

The first run of P1’s only ran to 1,000 units and sold out quickly thanks to the low price of just $78. The P1s is still available for just $110 under the early bird offer, while latecomers will have to pay $156 for the smartphone or $203 if you want to add a selfie stick.

The campaign will run until December 3 and hopes to raise $469,700. At the time of writing it had funded just 37%, suggesting that the offers are not proving very attractive for consumers.

Pepsi expands range of branded goods

Pepsi joins amp-maker Marshall and construction equipment company Caterpillar in releasing branded smartphones. While Marshall’s effort at least makes some sense with its dedicated audio chip and twin headphone jacks, the Pepsi Phone has few features that make it distinctly related to soft drinks. Even Caterpillar’s smartphone features a ruggedized design, presumably for construction workers.

Alongside accessories and apparel, Pepsi has also worked with Danish luxury stereo and TV maker Bang & Olufsen and Italian shoemaker Del Toro to sell branded goods. Earlier this year the company released a special edition “Pepsi Perfect” bottle to mark the day that Maryt McFly traveled to 21 October 2015 in the film Back To The Future II.

Pepsi is exploring various avenues in order to promote its brand and it seems to be having a measure of success in China. However the smartphone may not be distinctive enough to entice consumers to shell out their hard earned cash on Koobee H7.

For some people the allure of a brand name is enough to make them buy a product, but it seems bizarre that a soft drinks company would move into the technology sector. There is something slightly tacky about becoming free advertising for a corporate giant, but perhaps Chinese consumers will see things differently.


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