Global Mobile Communications is gearing up for a major retail push to challenge consumer perceptions of rugged devices.
The mobile provider recently partnered with construction giant Dewalt to launch its new ruggedised MD501 Android phone, targeted specifically at the building industry. Global Mobile plans to use this device to bridge the gap between consumers and the ruggedised market, revealing plans to secure a number of high street partnerships to do so.
Head of business development, Steve Spence, told Mobile that UK brand influence has seen Apple and Samsung become the go-to business devices. To combat this, he explained the new device has high-quality specs, designed to offer an alternative to a new generation of tradespeople who have grown up with mobile devices.
‘We believe the device will take the rugged sector mainstream,’ he said. ‘If you look at the typical tradesperson you’re looking at those who have grown up with mobile devices and are very savvy on tech. Their expectations are the reason why we’ve gone high spec with this device.
‘Very few in the industry have grasped the retail opportunity. It’s about making it [rugged devices] available to the consumer. There’s only been a limited choice in terms of brand trust and performance, so people need more options. In this sector you’re traditionally looking at iPhone and Samsung devices in a case wrap. So we’re targeting high street retailers to challenge consumers’ decision making. We want them to go into a store for the first time and look for these types of rugged devices and to move away from Samsung and Apple.’
He explained that that Global Mobile will look to use Dewalt’s existing channels and an exclusive distribution partnership with Ingram Micro to bring the device to consumers who may not have considered rugged before. The business is also seeking a number of network partnerships, with Spence claiming that until now operators have only looked at this market at a corporate level.
‘We’re looking and working on digital channels and word of mouth – we’re also working through traditional resellers and we’re seeing significant interest from that area. We also plan to use Dewalt’s existing channels to target environments that may not have looked at these products before.
‘We’re also exploring a number of network partnerships. All of the networks have divisions that look at enterprise but I don’t think any of them look at it at an individual level, just at corporate. In the coming years they will need to shift this approach because as mobile becomes more significant to the overall employment scenario. people will need rugged devices that can deliver.’