Apr 22 - 2min readThe beginning of the business-specific smartphone?By Borne
The beauty of Google’s Android platform is that it is free. Not only is it an open source platform but there are plenty of tools for developers to create apps and even modify the platform for their own uses. Take the popular Amazon Kindle for instance; the fire tablets that have proven such a success may not have even happened were it not for Android as they all run on a modified version of the OS.
We haven’t seen much in terms of industry specific smartphones but that well may change as technology needs to service specific niches.
It isn’t a surprise then that construction giant Dewalt has just unveiled an extra tough phone that is specific for the construction industry and powered by Android.
The device, which has been designed to survive a two metre drop on concrete is basic but it has been made with construction sites in mind and would likely serve as a second phone for construction workers. Rival construction company Caterpillar has already launched similar ‘tough’ devices to much success. Their latest device even has a built in thermal imaging camera.
With the majority of today’s smartphones seemingly becoming thinner and thinner with each new release it is hardly surprising that there would be a call for something a little more robust in certain situations. While it would be possible to purchase an especially thick case for your iPhone or Android device it still does not protect against extreme temperature, water or dust which is what this device, the construction-esque named MD501, does do.
For all the technology of iPhones and the latest Samsungs there is still an element of ‘one size fits all’ about them. While the ‘rugged’ phone market can certainly only appeal to a niche element there are more sections of society than you’d think who require the needs of a particular types of device.
The purchasing manager of rugged phone supplier James Booker said that: “Lots of people in the trade and construction industries, as well as outdoor sports enthusiasts, have realised that just having a thicker case isn’t going to see them through.”
The devices certainly aren’t cheap, coming in at around £350 but being Android devices you can still add popular apps like Skype or Facebook via the Google Play Store as with any other Android system. And £350 doesn’t sound much considering it would cost a lot more to replace an iPhone were it dropped from a height of 2m.
With the ‘specific’ phone market seemingly hitting off there may well be hope for BlackBerry yet!