Caterpillar, the iPhone killer? Hardly. But as the world’s largest maker of construction and mining equipment, Caterpillar understands better than most companies all that can go wrong with mobile devices in the field. And as far as the rugged tablet market goes, there’s plenty of room for improvement.
Coming Soon to an Outlet Near You?
Dubbed the CAT B15, this phone means business. Aimed at construction and industrial workers, it features a 4-inch screen and the Android 4.1 Jelly Bean operating system. Caterpillar boasts that it’s built to survive a 6-foot fall and can be submerged in up to three feet of water for 30 minutes. It’s got an aluminum body encased in a rubberized layer, a scratch-proof screen and — brace yourself — three sizes of earbuds. What’s more, its touchscreen is designed to work with wet hands, a huge plus for service techs.
Last but not least? It weighs less than six ounces and offers turn-by-turn navigation (another bonus for techs in the field).
But whether Caterpillar has a promising future in the rugged tablet market remains to be seen. The B15 follows by a year the debut of Caterpillar’s first rugged smartphone, the CAT B10, and is available only on the company’s website for $350.
There’s no word yet of any deals with a U.S. wireless carrier, but Caterpillar says that’s only a matter of time. The company has teamed with British mobile developer Bullitt Mobile to manufacture the phone.