Defining the Rugged Smartphone: A Series, Part One


The smartphone has become such a pervasive part of daily routines and business workflows that it is near impossible to remember life without it. That is, until it falls from your hands, seemingly in slow motion and always without warning. The best-case scenario is a cracked screen and at worst a device left completely inoperable. In that instant, it is painstakingly clear how disconnected and unproductive life was before the smartphone.

The High Cost of Being Unprepared

While the circumstances surrounding smartphone damage vary from user to user, the consequential disruption to work and financial loss are shared experiences by many. In 2014, SquareTrade reported that Americans have spent over $23.5 billion on repair and replacement of damaged smartphones since 2007.

The truth is that unexpected smartphone damage is highly probable both at home and in the workplace, and the results have cost consumers and businesses tens of billions of dollars. But what if smartphones were better prepared to withstand the impact of what environments and circumstances threw at them?

Ruggedized smartphones are the cornerstone of enterprise mobility, particularly in construction, transportation and logistics, and utilities — industries where operations and services are highly reliant on the productivity and uptime of field technicians. If a smartphone on the job site is at risk of dropping from heights, being submerged in water and/or exposure to hazardous materials, it must be ruggedized to ensure business continuity.

Defining Rugged

Over the next several weeks Tom Zeran, our Vice President of Product & Technology, will be exploring what rugged really means – to us, to our users and to the various industries where rugged is essential. We’ll look at the solutions on the market today, assessing survivability, cosmetic durability and usability, value and performance, and we’ll delve into various testing standards and protocols to figure out what is most important.

At Kyocera, we build with rugged in mind from the initial stages of design, taking a preventative approach to damage throughout the entire design of our smartphones with durability, ease-of-use and total cost of ownership in mind. We address the rigorous needs of both adventure-seeking consumers and field service organizations alike, with ruggedized features and design.

Kyocera is part of a larger initiative as our industry strives to refine and perfect smartphones to meet the evolving needs of users worldwide. We realize that it is impossible to be all things to every user but at Kyocera, we are firm in our commitment to be everything to the rugged smartphone user and the businesses that depend on them. As a result, work and play are left uninterrupted, even in the most stressful and hazardous conditions.

John is director of corporate communications at Kyocera. He has worked on the Kyocera team shaping its communications strategy over the past 15 years – 13 of those years in-house and two with a Kyocera agency partner. John has always had a passion for writing and began his career as a newspaper reporter at the Whittier Daily News, part of a multi-paper syndicate in Los Angeles.  When not working, he and his wife can usually be found coaching, shuttling, refereeing or cheering for his three sons and their numerous plays, concerts and sports teams.