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Rugged mobile industry expected to double sales to 59m in three years

Paul Lipscombe
September 24, 2018

New research from CCS Insights shows that rugged devices are expected to double in sales by 2021

The rugged mobile industry is expected to more than double by 2021 and a significant factor of this is from the influence of brands according to the players within the channel.

Figures from CCS Insight in 2016 revealed worldwide shipments of 25 million rugged phones and this is projected to reach 59 million come 2021.

One player in particular, Bullitt Group has the license to manufacture Caterpillar and Land Rover phones and with the CAT brand has 76.8 per cent of the UK rugged market share.

Bullitt director for applications and market intelligence Tim Shepherd believes these brands and the perceptions they give to consumers has been key to Bullitt’s success.

He said: “Cat and Land Rover are huge global brands and carry with them a level of expectation around what is going to be delivered. W e have to be careful with these brands and that gives customers assurance when buying these products.

“Having a brand that is recognisable is a huge help in getting customers to be aware of what the proposition is. It is a huge assistance for Bullitt.”

Our Perspective manages the Energizer brand in the UK and director Jason Kemp agrees.

“In our case we have a brand that is synonymous with batteries and durability, so this means a build-up in expectancy from our customers.”

Although Kemp does believe that the brand can only do so much and requires the substance of the phone to back it up.

TUFF Phone business development manager James Booker argues that the brand of a rugged device carries as much significance in the rugged market as it does in the mainstream mobile industry.

“Brand perception is as important within the ruggedised mobile space as it is within the mainstream mobile industry.”


Having leading brands has benefited Bullitt in particular, who have the Land Rover Explore phone in both EE and Vodafone stores.

Commenting on that, Shepherd told Mobile News: “It is a process, at Bullitt we’ve had to take our time to build up those relationships with these operator partners and show credibility for this.

“Our approach has been to leverage the power of well-known relevant brands that are trusted in the space, such as Cat and Land Rover.”

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