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Caterpillar Brand Crawls Into U.S. Cellphone Market

Reading, England — Bullitt Group, the licensee of the Caterpillar brand for ruggedized cellphones, is expanding its U.S. selection of smartphones with a 3G Android 4.4 smartphone available on The Home Depot’s website and the company’s first LTE smartphone.

The 3G HSPA+ B15Q, promoted as the first globally available rugged phone running Android’s 4.4 operating system, became available through at $349, and the LTE-equipped S50 will be available later this month at an unannounced price. Both access the Google Play store.

Earlier this fall, the Home Depot online store offered a few other Cat phones, including the B100 and the B15.

Both models are unlocked and operate on the AT&T or T-Mobile networks. The company also sells through select regional carriers.

The B15Q is IP67 rated for imperviousness to dust and ability to stay under water for 30 minutes up to 3 meters. The 4-inch 480 by 800 Corning Gorilla Glass touchscreen is operable when wet. The phone also meets military spec 810G requirements for shock, temperature and vibration resistance. It withstands temperatures from -4 degree F to more than 100 degree F, and it works when dropped up to 6 feet.

The phone operates in the 850/1900MHz and AWS bands, incorporates HSPA+ 21 Mbps cellular data technology, and runs a quad-core 1.3GHz processor from MediaTek. It also features 1 GB RAM, 4GB memory, 32GB MicroSD slot and 2,000 mAh battery delivering 16.3 hours of talk time.

The LTE S50 phone offers the same durability but steps up to a 4.7-inch IPS 1,720 by 1,280 HD display made of Gorilla Glass 3, 150/50Mbps LTE, 8-megapixel main camera with HD video capture, 2GB RAM, 8GB storage, 64GB MicroSD slot and 2,630 mAh battery. It runs a 1.2GHz quad-core Qualcomm processor and operates in the 850/1900MHz and AWS bands.

The phones are created by a joint team at Caterpillar and Bullitt Group, which is a design company.