Tuesday, November 20, 2007

JCB bids for rugged phone market


Construction equipment company JCB has announced it will launch what must be the hardest ever handset: the Toughphone.

The construction giant has teamed up with Phones 4u and distributor Data Select to launch the handset, which comes in a uniform JCB yellow hardened rubber case.

The Toughphone is shock, dust, water and drop resistant, and is operational from -20ºc to 60ºc. It is on sale from November and will be manufactured by US company Sonim, which has underlined the phone's durability by offering a three-year guarantee.

As well as the Toughphone's obvious brawn, it is loaded with Bluetooth, Push-To-Talk and tri-band. The device also has built-in dual speakers, which enable it to be heard in noisy environments.

According to JCB consumer products director Matthew Conrad, the handset targets a gap in the market. 'It's reaching out to an area of people who want simplicity and durability.

'Anyone who listens to The Archers on Radio 4 will know that one of the farmers lost his phone in the mud this week. When he found it, the Sim card was fine, but the phone was broken. If only he had a JCB Toughphone!'

The Toughphone will be available in Phones 4u, Speedy Hire and Plumb Centres. It will also be available online at www.phones4u.co.uk.

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