20:20 Mobile to distribute CAT phones

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Distributor to supply retailers with B15 rugged Android smartphone as CAT claims it can challenge for mainstream market share

Machinery and clothing manufacturer CAT has signed a deal with 20:20 Mobile to distribute its two new rugged handsets in the UK.

CAT’s UK licensees, Bullitt Mobile, signed up the distributor for its MWC-announced B15 rugged Android  smartphone (pictured).

Phones 4U has already agreed to stock the device in its stores and talks with Carphone Warehouse are at an “advanced stage”, according to Bullitt marketing director Richard Wharton.

He added that because of the CAT brand, the new handset will challenge for mainstream market share rather than just being aimed at tradesmen and enterprises specialising in ‘challenging environments’, as he claims other rugged devices are.

“Look at the way people are using their phones these days – we are trashing them,” Wharton told Mobile News. “You have apps for mountain biking, surfing and all sorts of outdoor activities. People’s phones don’t stick up to that. Most broken phones are down to drops and so there’s a big market outside of the business sector.

“With CAT we can address the mainstream need for rugged better than anyone else.

“It’s a growing niche – 20 million rugged devices were sold globally last year and we’ve seen an increase in operators looking at this market, as their insurance claims are up and it’s hitting their margins.”

The handset will be released in the UK in the spring and will retail SIM-free for £299.

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