[caption id="attachment_11742" align="aligncenter" width="550"] Pepsi smartphone[/caption] For brands, having your own app is so passé. Pepsi isn't counting on media to deliver its message to consumers, instead it wants to be in control of the whole device by creating its own phone - the Pepsi P1. It's a savvy move, essentially borrowing the logic from big tech brands like Google and Apple to own the entire relationship with consumers.
Creating an operating system based on the Android platform or a similar open-source OS is something of a cottage industry at this stage. The cost of mid-level smartphones is dropping as components become cheaper. It's conceivable that Pepsi could create its own slate of apps for photos and messaging, getting the Pepsi brand in front of consumers as they perform their daily social tasks – and spreading the Pepsi message with their friends as a result, whether intended or not. The phone will go one sale in China later this year and is likely to be manufactured in China. The phone itself was described as "decent but not high-end specs" by Pepsi's own PR team and is likely to cost around $200 US. One would imagine that the cost of the phone would be partially subsidized to offset all the Pepsi marketing that the phone owner would agree to receive. Do you think this is a trend that will eventually reach North America?
Pepsi could create its own slate of apps for photos and messaging.