Verizon's Tough Zone

Verizon Wireless is taking on Sprint Corp. (NYSE: S) on its home turf with a new ruggedized handset from UTStarcom Inc. (Nasdaq: UTSI).

The G'zOne Type-V ruggedized mobile phone blends water-, heat-, and drop-resistant features that are typically the domain of phones aimed at blue collar workers and vertical enterprise applications, with Verizon's V-Cast downloads, VZ Navigator GPS tracking, mobile Web, and messaging options.

The operator says the CDMA EV-DO clamshell G'zOne Type-V [Ed note: Could they have made that any more difficult to type?] can withstand temperatures of over 140 degrees farenheit, submersion in up to one meter of water, heavy rain, and high winds. Verizon says the phone was tested in accordance with military specification 810 F for rain, dust, shock, and vibration resistance.

There has been a whirlwind of ruggedized devices launched recently by the likes of Intermec Technologies Corp. and Symbol Technologies Inc. (NYSE: SBL). (See FON's $5 WiFi and Symbol's Dunkin' Devices). Motorola Inc. (NYSE: MOT)'s ruggedized iDen handsets for Sprint Nextel have, however, traditionally been the most widely used tough phones in both the enterprise and consumer markets.

Indeed, what the carriers are waking up to is the fact that there could be a market beyond construction workers and warehouse pickers for these devices. Verizon is pitching its new phone at those with "outdoor lifestyles" [Ed note: Bears?], while Motorola played up the new camera in its i580 iDEN phone when it was launched by Sprint in July.

Verizon is pricing the G'zOne Type-V at $299.99 with a two-year service agreement. It is available online today.

— Dan Jones, Site Editor, Unstrung

IPobserver 12/5/2012 | 3:37:10 AM
re: Verizon's Tough Zone Tuff phones. Excellent. Got a pic?
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