Home / Rugged handset maker targets Middle East

Rugged handset maker targets Middle East

Sonim launches campaign to promote 'Toughest GSM phone in the world'

US-based handset manufacturer Sonim started a campaign to target the Middle East’s legions of outdoor workers in late September when its sand and water proofed mobile phone went on sale in the UAE.

Sonim claims that its XP1 handset is “the toughest GSM phone in the world” and is as close to indestructible as a mobile phone has ever been.

The device, which will cost AED1,499 ($408), has an engineering industry standard rating of IP54, which means it is protected against large quantities of dust and water splashing against it.

The manufacturer also claims that it will still work if it is dropped from a height of three meters or exposed to temperatures of -20C through to 60C. It features an anti-glare, scratch resistant screen and walkie-talkie style push-to-talk (PTT) capability and comes with a three year unconditional warranty.

“No other device ever in the history of the wireless industry has had a three year unconditional warranty,” emeritus CEO John Burns says. “If you break this, period, under any circumstances for any reason within three years of when you bought it, we will replace the device.”

Sonim said its marketing campaign will target recreational users as well as construction, oil and gas workers.

“You’ll see us do less traditional marketing, and more specialised marketing specifically directed at the target market,” Burns said, with sports and outdoor shops in the Middle East expected to stock the product along with traditional electrical retailers.

In the UAE, Sonim has teamed up with distribution firm Brightpoint and a spokesman for Sonim said he expected the handset to be sold in Jumbos, Jacky’s and Plug-Ins stores.

Follow us to get the most comprehensive technology news in UAE delivered fresh from our social media accounts on Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, and listen to our Weekly Podcast. Click here to sign up for our weekly newsletter on curated technology news in the Middle East and Worldwide.