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Author Topic: Nextel I 580. Why?
glisp42
I'm Dreaming Of A White iPod


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I was watching TV last night and what should come on but a commercial for the Nextel i580. It is touted as meeting military specifications for shock, vibration, blowing rain and dust. My question is why?

I have two theories about this;
1) Motorola tried to get a government contract for this phone for the armed forces and failed. They then released the phone to the public.

2) Motorola got the government contract and is releasing these phones to the public at the same time.

3) I'm completely full of crap and way off base here.

Any snopesters know why Nextel would release a phone built to strict military specs if they weren't going for a government contract?

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SoToasty
Flock to malls with boughs of cash


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You obviously have never had contact with my granddaughter.

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Errata
Happy Xmas (Warranty Is Over)


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Well they probably did develop it for a military contract. But cellphones go in pockets and bags and luggage and sometimes take a beating. Having broken one myself, I'd be more likely to invest in a higher tech phone if I had confidence in its durability.
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RLobinske
Deck the Malls


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There's also a market niche that will buy anything that's marked, "Milspec" [Smile]
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diddy
Markdown, the Herald Angels Sing


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There are other companies other than the military that require gear to be heavy duty. Construction companies for one love phones that can take a beating on site.

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Troberg
Angels Wii Have Heard on High


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It sells.

I'd guess that almost everybody nowadays have a broken phone experience. If they read about "military specifications", they start to think of something that will withstand an anti-tank mine, and they will like it.

My guess is that they want to sell it to a wide audience, but also cater to a small specialist market that actually needs this.

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/Troberg

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Llewtrah
Happy Xmas (Warranty Is Over)


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Military specs can mean a higher grade of electronic components, and less electro-magnetic radiation and - as others have said - ruggedised. Working with defence products, I'll add that ruggedisation can also mean bigger, heavier and needing 2 people to carry it!

For companies that manufacture for both military and civilian markets, it is generally cheaper and more efficient to buy and control large batches of the military-grade components for the production line rather than buy smaller batches of two different grades of components (plus the later means a risk of lower spec components entering military products through human error).

I'd guess the mobile phone has been through more rigourous environmental testing and will be more reliable over a wider range of climatic conditions. I do know that mobile phones are replacing/augmenting military radios in some applications.

When military grade becomes the norm for consumer goods, how will companies promote their higher spec products? Astronaut grade?

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Dropbear
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It cashes in on a number of things:

Firstly it connects the phone with the image of the military as tough and no-nonsense and as efficient (neither of these are necessarily true but the images and associations are, or can be put, there).

Secondly, as noted above, it asserts ruggedness and durability.

Finally it has a patriotic connotation in the current circumstances.

quote:
Originally posted by Llewtrah
When military grade becomes the norm for consumer goods, how will companies promote their higher spec products? Astronaut grade?

That's been done already - remember Tang? When the 'military' connection no longer sells they move onto something else. It might be flash designs or convergent technology or a stylish image (Motorola, the phone used by leading hair-dressers). Who knows? Maybe in the future we'll go through a surrealist revival:

"Nokia because Octopus Yellow!"

Dropbear

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chillas
Coventry Mall Carol


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What? This wasn't good enough for them?

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Llewtrah
Happy Xmas (Warranty Is Over)


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quote:
Originally posted by Dropbear:


quote:
Originally posted by Llewtrah
When military grade becomes the norm for consumer goods, how will companies promote their higher spec products? Astronaut grade?

That's been done already - remember Tang?
You'll have to enlighten me - I've never heard of Tang.

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vanilla
Markdown, the Herald Angels Sing


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quote:
Originally posted by SoToasty:
You obviously have never had contact with my granddaughter.

Or my husband. We switched over to Nextel this year and he got the i580. Not because he works on a military base but because he can not hold a normal phone to save his life. The "rugged looks" mean grips on the sides that make it almost impossible to drop. And when he does drop it, it isn't in a million different pieces or no longer has a working LCD screen or will not open or has difficulty making or answering a call.

IOWs, they may be marketing it to the public just because there is a demand for a phone that will take a beating and keep working and military specs ensure exactly that.

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Cure the Blues
We Three Blings


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The i580 is certainly built like a tank, most esp. compared to the Razr. I know which one is more likely to survive a hard fall. I have noticed that a lot of the Nextel lineup comprises somewhat chunky, sturdily-built phones. Moreso than the other carriers, IMO.

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Dropbear
Angels from the Realms so Glurgy


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quote:
Originally posted by Llewtrah
You'll have to enlighten me - I've never heard of Tang.

Tang is a powdered orange fruit drink. It was marketed to take advantage of the space craze.

From this site:

quote:
The public? They wanted to try space food. General Foods, which marketed Tang, was best-positioned to take advantage. Tang had been on every Gemini and Apollo mission and General Foods quickly launched an all-out advertising blitz that ensured Tang would become synonymous with space travel itself.

The space-crazed public found Tang new and exciting (after all, why would anybody want to drink real orange juice?). Actually, Tang wasn't new-it had been on supermarket shelves since 1959. That mattered little to kids watching the space missions on TV. Tang was the beverage of the gods, and when they demanded it, parents had little choice but to comply.

Dropbear

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" The villagers had said justice had been done, and she'd lost patience and told them to go home, then, and pray to whatever gods they believed in that it was never done to them. -- (Terry Pratchett)

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Jason Threadslayer
Let There Be PCs on Earth


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quote:
Originally posted by Dropbear:
Tang is a powdered orange fruit drink.

Outside the Western world, Tang has actually branched out to be more than orange (although apparently there are three flavours available in the US) and is quite popular.

You can get limón (very good), horchata (very watery), tamarindo, and other flavours in Mexico.

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Joe Bentley
Ding Dong! Merrily on High Definition TV


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Tang Orange Pineapple and Orange Strawberry are both really good. I usually take a jar of one or the other out to sea with me. It beats the Bug Juice they serve on the mess decks.

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Dropbear
Angels from the Realms so Glurgy


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quote:
originally posted by Joe Bentley
Tang Orange Pineapple and Orange Strawberry are both really good. I usually take a jar of one or the other out to sea with me. It beats the Bug Juice they serve on the mess decks.

Now I freely admit that I haven't had Tang in maybe 25 years, so maybe its improved in that time, but even so if Tang is better than what you get on the mess desks then the stuff on the mess desks must be phenomonally awful.

Dropbear

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" The villagers had said justice had been done, and she'd lost patience and told them to go home, then, and pray to whatever gods they believed in that it was never done to them. -- (Terry Pratchett)

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