The rugged smartphone isn’t a hugely popular segment of the smartphone market, but there is a niche user base for them. A rugged smartphone is often perfect for those who work in construction, the trades, or anywhere the environment is not kind to traditional smartphones. Now, PCMag is reporting that rugged smartphone maker Bullitt Group has gone out of business.
Bullitt Group is best known for making the rugged smartphone line branded by CAT. Caterpillar makes large earth moving equipment, so it made sense to partner with them on branding. We’ve reviewed a few CAT smartphones in the past and we always found them to be precisely what they say they are, tough and perfect for rugged use cases.
The rugged smartphone maker had over 200 employees. According to PCMag, In early January, The Telegraph reported that Bullitt had planned to transfer its satellite service business and its employees, apparently separate from its heavy-duty mobile hardware business, to a new company. One former Bullitt employee, Tim Shepherd, wrote that he was let go from his product marketing position because Bullitt was unable to move forward with a “critical planned restructuring,” suggesting a new company is unlikely at this point.
Bullitt Group was not the only maker of rugged smartphones, there are others, such as UGreen and other makers out of China. But it is sad to see such a familiar and reliable smartphone brand go under.