Land Rover revs up rugged mobile phone

Partnership with Sonim will see the iconic 4x4 car maker follow in the footsteps of digger maker JCB by launching a tough mobile handset.

Rugged mobile phone

Demand for hard-wearing mobile phones is on the rise, as users working in mucky and unforgiving roles such as builders and farmers are frequently finding that popular feature phones can be a bit fragile.

Now Land Rover, the legendary off-road car maker is moving into the telephony business with the launch of two Land Rover-branded rugged mobile phone handsets.

The Land Rover S1 and Land Rover S2 G4 are being produced by Sonim Technologies. The Land Rover phones will be submersible, Bluetooth-compliant and certified to withstand salt, fog, humidity, transport and thermal shock and a 1.6-metre drop to concrete from any angle.

"In less than two years, Sonim has set the bar for engineering best-in-class rugged mobile phones for people who work and play in extreme environments," said Bob Plaschke, Sonim's chief executive.

"Land Rover recognises that our customers' needs extend beyond the driver's seat," added Lindsay Weaver, Land Rover Global's licensing manager.

A third Land Rover phone will follow later in 2009.

A year ago, mechanical digger maker JCB launched a branded rugged handset, the Toughphone. It is also a re-badged Sonim XP1.

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