The rumors of the basic cellphone's death have been greatly exaggerated -- it's just finding niches to hide in while smartphones take over the mainstream. Witness today's launch of the Kyocera DuraPro on US Cellular. Although it's just a flip phone, it meets the US military's 810G specs for dust, shock, temperature and water resistance, all of which help it survive a rough workplace or an accidental splash at the beach. That and a loud speakerphone are the real highlights, although you will get microSD support and a 3.2-megapixel camera for your trouble. Do the math before you pick up a DuraPro in-store on February 28th, though. At $100 on contract after a $50 rebate, it's carrying smartphone-level pricing that could steer some buyers away from its retro rugged chic.
U.S. CELLULAR TO LAUNCH THE RUGGED KYOCERA DURAPRO
Will be available online February 27 and in stores February 28
CHICAGO & SAN DIEGO (February 25, 2013) – U.S. Cellular (NYSE: USM) and Kyocera Communications Inc. have announced the launch of the Kyocera DuraPro. With Military Standard 810G certification, DuraPro is a perfect fit for consumers and business customers who need a tough feature phone on a high-speed nationwide network. It will be available online February 27 and in stores on February 28 for $99.99 after a $50 mail-in rebate.
The Kyocera DuraPro is water, shock, dust, and vibration resistant and is encased in non-slip Dura-Grip material for a strong hold and extra durability. It can be immersed for up to 30 minutes in up to one meter of water and comes with essential apps including, email, a web browser and navigation. Those features, along with a 3.2 megapixel camera, large keypad and powerful speakerphone, make the DuraPro a practical and reliable choice for consumers and business customers who need a device that can withstand harsh elements.
"For those who work and play outdoors in varying weather and climates, the Kyocera DuraPro is an ideal device to help you stay connected to people and information wherever you are," said Edward Perez, vice president of sales and marketing operations for U.S. Cellular. "At U.S. Cellular, we want to provide a better wireless experience, and our customers can rely on this phone to keep working even in extreme conditions."
The Kyocera DuraPro comes with a programmable hot key on the side of the phone that users can easily assign for quick access to the calendar, Bluetooth, alarm or web. U.S. Cellular business customers and consumers who purchase this device also receive benefits no other carrier offers, including a valuable rewards program that recognizes customer loyalty.
"There's still very strong demand for a solid feature phone, and feature phones don't come any more solid than the DuraPro," said Eric Anderson, senior vice president and general manager of global sales and marketing at Kyocera Communications. "The rugged durability of this device and U.S. Cellular's fantastic customer loyalty program combine for a wireless solution that will be with you for the long run."
* In addition to water, vibrations and dust, DuraPro is engineered to meet Military Standard 810G for temperature extremes, blowing rain, low pressure, solar radiation, salt fog and humidity
* Expandable memory – up to 32GB with optional microSD card
* Large font option for menus