Bob Plaschke Sonim “Our company makes the Sonim XP1, the rugged phone for people who work and play in extreme environments.” - Im Gespräch mit Bob Plaschke (CEO Sonim Technologies) » Interview Blog

“Our company makes the Sonim XP1, the rugged phone for people who work and play in extreme environments.” - Im Gespräch mit Bob Plaschke (CEO Sonim Technologies)

telefon.de: Bob, you are the CEO of Sonim Technologies Inc. Could you please introduce yourself and your company as well to our readers in Germany, Austria and Switzerland?

Bob Plaschke: Hello Klaus, It’s great to be sharing information with you and your audience, thanks for having me. As you mentioned, I’m Bob Plaschke and I am the CEO of Sonim Technologies. Our company makes the Sonim XP1, the rugged phone for people who work and play in extreme environments.

We are a private company based in the Silicon Valley and we started our business providing VOIP Push To Talk applications. Through the course of this business we worked with enterprises that manage groups of workers in outdoor and demanding work situations. This is how we discovered the market need for a more rugged phone. It was an exciting time of realizing we could help fulfill a true need for a group of people that didn’t have many options.

The phone we ended up developing, the Sonim XP1, is an IP-54 certified, mil-spec approved, bluetooth and Push To Talk enabled GSM phone. It is engineered to meet the needs of people who work outside the office and/or are outdoor sports enthusiasts. The XP1 is certified to withstand shock, water, wind, dust, dirt and extreme temperatures. The Sonim XP1 is also backed by an Unconditional 3 year warranty - with immediate in-store replacement if needed - the XP1 is the only phone that doesn’t compromise on capability or durability.

Over the last years our mission has clearly become to provide the most rugged phone for this market of people.

telefon.de: We do have an outstanding demand for the Sonim XP1 in our online shop telefon.de. Was the “thoughest GSM mobile phone” a brainchild of market research or rather a product of “simple” inspiration?

Bob Plaschke: Great to hear about your experience with our phones. It is partners like you that we seek to bring into the Sonim family and help make successful with our product.

As I mentioned above the product evolved from a deep need we were exposed to while providing other communication solutions to workers in industrial, security and manufacturing environments. As we started to outline the opportunity we did research which indicated 70% of outdoor workers refrain from using their phones in the workplace because the phone might break, and 40% have broken their mobile phone in the last year, and common reasons are damage from humidity, dropping and crushing the phone.

And, from there we began development to build the best in class rugged phone.

telefon.de: Who does your products buy? Outdoor enthusiasts, craftsmen or simply parents with children who suffer from adhs :-) ?

Bob Plaschke: Well, our primary market right now has emerged as craftsmen, industrial workers, shipping/shipyard workers, etc – it actually spans a wide range of professionals in the categories that deal with the natural elements in their day-to-day jobs.

We are also starting to proactively market our phone to groups such as outdoor enthusiasts since there is a great fit there, we are finding that skiers, mountain climbers and boaters really appreciate the phone.

There are many groups we could target as you mention. Over time we will begin to reach them but right now our focus is on the market that will make the investment to buy the Sonim phone because they view their phone as an essential tool.

telefon.de: Bob, your are blogging yourself on “Bob’s Blog” and on the German market you intiated a well recognized blog marketing campaign. Is it possible to somehow evalute the success of these activities?

Bob Plaschke: Klaus, as you know blogging is so helpful to a company. It allows us to find out what our customers are ‘really’ thinking by being able to interact with them directly. As a company it is our goal to never lose that direct connection with the customer, I still answer emails to customers and speak with them.

This direction with customers is the way we currently measure the success.

telefon.de: What kind of technical inovations can we expect within five years time by Sonim?

Bob Plaschke: We are always researching new techniques that will make the phone even more rugged, as an example we are looking at a new material that absorbs the impact of a drop. We are also looking at software functionality such as GPS and other useful ‘field’ applications. Our phone design is also quickly evolving and the new phones we launch next year will certainly have a signature Sonim design to them. Our new phones are being designed by a top designer, Scott Wilson, who has a clear and unique vision with regard to consumer design. He is really applying a unique philosophy to our phone design that everyone will find very exciting when we launch next year.

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» “Our company makes the Sonim XP1, the rugged phone for people who work and play in extreme environments.” - Im Gespräch mit Bob Plaschke (CEO Sonim Technologies) Bob Plaschke Sonim