Your smartphone is your baby. You check on it constantly and take extra care to make sure it’s in top condition. You constantly worry about dropping it, so you hold on tight to it or tuck it someplace where it will be safe. And if you do drop it, you have a tiny panic attack, your heart and mind racing as you pick it up and check to make sure it’s OK. If it’s broken, your world comes crashing down around you.
Now, there’s no need to worry. Caterpillar has introduced a new phone that has its protection built in.
The B-15 Cat Phone, released last week by Caterpillar, is a drop-proof, water-proof, and dust-proof smartphone. Unlike other phones built to endure harsh circumstances, the B-15 Cat Phone isn’t bulky and doesn’t have an unnecessary amount of rubber casing. It’s relatively light and has all the amenities of any smartphone: a 4.1-inch touchscreen, a 5-megapixel camera, Android 4.1 operating system and HD video recording.
“Of course, it’s not really going to compete with the specifications of the Apple iPhone 5 or the Samsung Galaxy S4, but it’s a perfectly decent phone,” wrote CNNMoney writer David Goldman.
The phone can withstand water one meter deep for up to 30 minutes. The screen also works when wet, unlike other phones. Have no fear (or heart attack) if you happen to drop the B-15; the phone’s anodized silver casing protects the phone from drops up to six feet.
Caterpillar hasn’t partnered with any carriers yet, but the B-15 is compatible with AT&T and T-Mobile networks.
Caterpillar partnered with Bullitt Group to manufacture and market the B-15. Bullit Group, a British company, specializes in helping brands enter markets.
“If you were to get a case to make the iPhone just as durable, our phone wouldn’t be the bigger of the two,” said Andreea Marciuc, brand director for Bullitt.
So you may be wondering what exactly is wrong with this phone. The answer? Nothing, but the B-15 will cost you $349 without a contract.
Caterpillar tried the concept of a ruggedized phone a year ago with the B-10 smartphone. But that device was an inch thick and unattractive, according to Goldman.
The market for ruggedized devices isn’t enormous. Just 21 million were sold last year, according to Caterpillar. According to Goldman, the company wants to own that niche, and become the top durable phone maker by 2015.
Candace Shelton is a senior in her undergraduate studies at Boston University. She studies broadcast journalism and political science. Candace is now pursuing a career in journalism. She has been featured in the College of Communication Alumni magazine, has worked in the BU student newspaper and radio station, and currently works as an intern at ABC Boston. Candace joined NSCS in her sophomore year. Visit her blog for updates! candacebshelton.wordpress.com