Phones 4U will have the ruggedised handset, pitched at manual workers, on prepay and contract as an exclusive until February. Data Select’s Platinum Club dealers will then be offered the product ahead of the distributor’s wider dealer base.
With yellow rubber casing, the Toughphone, branded by construction equipment manufacturer JCB, is said to be shock, dust, water and drop resistant, and will work in temperatures from -20C to 60C. It also features built-in dual speakers so the device can be heard in noisy environments. It will come with a three-year warranty.
Vodafone is said to be taking another variant of the handset via a direct distribution deal with the phone’s manufacturer, Sonim.
Data Select managing director George McPherson said: “The market has been demanding a no-nonsense mobile that non-office-based workers and tradesmen can depend on. It’s virtually indestructible.”
Phones 4U marketing director Jim Slater added: “The JCB Toughphone is like no other handset currently on the market. Research has shown there is a consumer segment that requires a strong and sturdy mobile they can count on as being resilient and durable.”
Meanwhile, ahead of the announcement of Data Select’s distribution deal with new MVNO Lebara, it has also struck a handset distribution deal with advertising-funded youth MVNO Blyk. It will also host and design its website.
Said McPherson: “Lebara was very particular with who it wanted to deal with, so we are very pleased to have secured this business. The Blyk proposition is entirely different, which is good because there is no conflict.”