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Caterpillar Aims to Make Splash With Rugged, Waterproof Android Phone

Caterpillar is best known for making heavy equipment, but the machinery brand thinks it can add something to the phone business.

Cat has partnered with Bullitt Mobile, a British electronics firm that builds products using well-known brands to develop a rugged, waterproof Android phone.

The easiest way to make phones rugged is to just wrap them in a ton of rubber. But that also makes them big and bulky — something Floyd said his group was looking to avoid.

“It’s got to be a great phone — something that everybody would feel comfortable carrying,” said Dave Floyd, director of technology for Bullitt.

The result of their work is the Cat B15, a phone that is debuting at the CTIA trade show in Las Vegas and will sell for $349 without subsidies. The device packs a 4-inch screen, a dual-core MediaTek processor and the Jelly Bean version of Android into a device capable of surviving a 6 foot drop onto concrete and withstanding up to 30 minutes in 3 feet of water.

Its screen is also designed to work with a wet finger — something that trips up most smartphones. And all that in a phone that weighs just under six ounces.

Bullitt isn’t talking carriers yet, but it’s a GSM phone with support for HSPA+ networks, so either AT&T or T-Mobile USA would be a good fit.


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The problem with the Billionaire Savior phase of the newspaper collapse has always been that billionaires don’t tend to like the kind of authority-questioning journalism that upsets the status quo.

— Ryan Chittum, writing in the Columbia Journalism Review about the promise of Pierre Omidyar’s new media venture with Glenn Greenwald