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EXCLUSIVE: Global Mobile Communications to partner with Chinese manufacturer Ulefone

Jasper Hart
May 17, 2019

Modest sales target of 25,000 in the first 12 months for Armor 6 device

Global Mobile Communications (GMC) is partnering exclusively with Chinese manufacturer Ulefone and will bring three of its devices to the UK this summer, Mobile News can exclusively reveal.

The rugged Ulefone Armor 6 will be released in June, with the Armor 6E following on, with an unnamed device to follow in July. The manufacturer sold nearly 900,000 devices across its markets, which include China, Japan, Israel and Spain, in 2018.

“We have signed an agreement to say we have exclusivity for the UK to work with them as their representation,” GMC managing director Stephen Westley told Mobile News.

Ulefone is Google Merchant Services-certified, which allows it to install Google Play Store onto its handsets. It is also Google Enterprise Services-certified, which enables one-touch employment of M2M services such as SOTI across multiple devices, which Westley sees as a crucial selling point for businesses.

“We’re seeing more and more business users wanting rugged phones because they last longer,” he said. “but when you look at its specs, people don’t think it’s rugged, they think it’s a Samsung with a case on it.”

“From a partners point of view, more people are getting involved in rugged because their phones are not lasting.”

The Armor 6 has 6GB RAM and 128GB internal storage, with a 21MP + 13MP dual rear camera and a 5,000mAh battery with wireless charging. It is IP68 water and dust resistant, and runs on a Helio P60 Octa-Core 2.0GHz processor. it will retail at £299.99.

The 6E will retail at £229.99 and has 4GB RAM and 64GB internal storage, with 16MP + 3 MP dual rear camera.

“We like it because we’re going for the outdoor market during the summer,” Westley adds. “There’s a lot of people using rugged phones for outdoor activities.” The device also has a UV counter to measure the strength of the sun.

Westley says the sales targets are modest initially, despite the growth of the rugged sector. “We’re not aiming to rule the world. For the first 12 months from release we have a target of 25,000 units, which isn’t crazy for us, we know it’s achievable.”

“Because nearly every distributor has a rugged offering, we’re limited in who would want to take it, but this is early days.”

The third device will be non-rugged, and Westley intends for that sector to represent the majority of GMC’s dealing with Ulefone.

“There’s going to be a split of about 70:30 of standard to rugged in their range moving forward,” he said. “We thought we’d launch with a rugged device because that’s the market we know.”

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