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RugGear’s RG850 takes us one step closer to leading the market, says new chief executive

Manny Pham
March 14, 2018

RugGear wants to lead the UK rugged space, says new CEO and former HMD Global chief of strategy Oliver Schulte (pictured above).

The chief executive said RugGear’s latest smartphone, the RG850, is for a ‘prosumer’ audience and will meet the need for rugged devices that are more advanced in consumer features than standard rugged devices.

Schulte, citing CCS Insight, said the global rugged handset market counted 30 million devices.

The Maidenhead-based manufacturer shipped 200,000 devices last year, mainly through an e-tail strategy with partners such as Amazon. It is seeking a distribution partner and is negotiating retail ranging in the UK.

Customers include Shell BP, Gazprom and the Singapore police force. RugGear operates in 30 countries including the Untied Arab Emirates, Singapore, Germany, France and the UK.

The RG850 has an 18:9 aspect ratio display, a feature adopted by the majority of consumer-focused manufacturers at Mobile World Congress this year.

It’s a rugged device with a military-standard MIL-STD 810G rating, making it resistant to liquid, dust, mist and shocks.

Water-resistance rating is IP68, meaning it can survive in up to 1.2 metres of water. Powering the device is a Snapdragon 430 1.4GHz processor with 3GB of RAM and 32GB internal memory. Battery life stands at 4,000mAh while the main snapper is 12MP (8MP front).

Schulte told Mobile News: “I wish to lead the rugged space one day but it will be hard work. The rugged space last year was 30 million devices.

“From an overall market point of view it’s a really small segment. But if you look at other niches in the world that also ship 30 million devices, there’s not a lot of them.

“There are a couple of reasons for tremendous growth in the segment, 20 per cent year-on-year and that’s why you see more manufacturers compete in rugged every year.”

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