The Rugged Handhelds market is much like the Car market.
Once all people wanted to be was a member of the majority, I quote Henry Ford’s famous “You can have it in any colour as long as its black..,” phrase. For years we all drove around in Ford Sierra’s available in L, GL or Ghia only configurations and then a funny thing happened. We all started wanting to be unique, different and special! So to cut a long story short we can see how the car industry has reflected this over the years. No longer are Ford the giants, no longer do we have 4 models each with only 3 configs available. Today we can choose between an average of 15-20 different model types from any manufacturer, configs are now long, bespoke lists of accessories/upgrades so pretty much every car coming off the line is bespoke in some way.
Why is this mad idiot talking about cars and how is this affecting the Rugged Handheld Market? Well because we’re seeing the advent of this in the Rugged Handheld market.
In the past you could spec out the barcode scanner as long as you had a barcode scanner in your device!! Sure there were a few models in each Rugged PDA manufacturers offerings but they were pretty limited and in today’s world where mobile is central we’re rarely seeing 1 rugged handheld fitting all requirements.
How do we address this. Well you can take the approach of leading people to buy the wrong device, call it salesmanship if you want. Or you could try to fit the requirements of the customer to a specific device.
Why can’t I have a numeric keypad in this device when it has a Qwerty one? Why can’t I have a 5″ screen? Why can’t I fit a barcode reader in later when I really need it and my solution is proven? There’s no 1 manufacturer that can do this…yet, but a good Rugged Handheld reseller can find devices with configurations that work for you, whilst tweaking the OS, applications and your support services so that you have a solution that fits like a glove .
We’re testing our knowledge with a week of blogging about “Niche Rugged Handhelds” which looks at a series of devices all aimed at filling the unique requirements of every customer we talk to. We start tomorrow with Small Rugged PDA’s but we aim to get a lot deeper than this!!
Remember we can always find something that works for you here!!
The Rugged and Mobile blog.