Why Pepsi Is Releasing a Smartphone

PHOTO: Bottles and cans of Pepsi soda are seen on display in a store on March 22, 2010 in Miami, Florida. Joe Raedle/Getty Images
Bottles and cans of Pepsi soda are seen on display in a store on March 22, 2010 in Miami, Florida.

To borrow a line from a Pepsi campaign, this is "out of the blue."

Pepsi Co., best known for its soda and snack foods, is launching a line of Android smartphones and accessories in China sometime in the next few months, according to a statement from the company.

"Pepsi has always moved at the speed of culture, and today technology is a key cultural pillar at the heart of consumer interaction," a Pepsi representative told ABC News. "Pepsi has no plans to get into the mobile phone manufacturing business, but we are committed to engaging with consumers in innovative ways to grow our brand. We’ll share more news as it becomes available."

Working with a licensing partner, Pepsi will lend its name to the products while an unidentified partner will manufacture the phones. The deal is "similar to recent globally licensed Pepsi products which include apparel and accessories,” the company representative said.

The first release, which is being called the Pepsi P1, could make its debut as soon as Oct. 20, according to technology website Mobipicker, which first reported the news.

The phone is reported to cost around $205, an appealing price point in China for people who want a smartphone but may not be able to afford more premium offerings from Apple, Samsung and Xiaomi. The device will have "decent but not high-end specs," including a 5.5-inch display with a 1.7GHz processor and 16GB of internal storage, Mobipicker reported.

Only time will tell whether the Pepsi phone will fall flat. It will join a growing list of branded smartphones that have struggled to find success, including the Facebook phone, the Amazon Fire phone and the Motorola ROKR, known as the iTunes phone, among others.

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