Woodbury NY-based rugged mobile computing specialist Janam Technologies has announced its second Android entry, the ultra-rugged, ultra-compact XT2 touch computer. However, while their initial rugged Android, the XT1, had a larger screen that positioned it closer to tablets, the XT2 is much closer to a smartphone in its form factor.
Since Janam introduced the XT1 in September 2014, the OS mix has changed somewhat in the rugged mobile market.
“Back then, we, like everyone else, were mainly selling Microsoft,” said Harry Lerner, Janam’s CEO. “We had some Palm, which we still have, because there is still a set of corporate users that continue to use it, because it’s not broken. The big change though is the strong growth of Android, albeit that growth is coming from a much smaller base.”
Janam’s launches in 2015 and 2016 have reflected this growth, as even their Windows machines have a dual OS capacity – even if customers aren’t ready to use it today.
“In January 2015, we launched XM5, which was initially Windows and then with a dual OS,” Lerner said. “Our expectation is that some folks who are looking at moving to Android are not yet ready, but they like the investment protection the dual OS offers. In December we launched the XM70, which has a new set of electronics inside the same housing as our flagship XM66, but allows them to reuse all their accessories with a dual OS device when it is the right time.”
The XT2 is Janam’s first pure Android machine since the XT1, and Lerner stressed that it is the first device in its class to run the new Android 5 Lollipop operating system. It is also certified by Google to support all Google APIs including Google Play.
“The XT2 is the best of all worlds,” Lerner said. “It has a touch computer form factor. It is sleek and slim like a smart phone, but it has all the durable elements. It differs significantly from the XT1, which has a larger display and has the viewability of a tablet and the usability of a rugged PDA. The XT1 has the larger screen for customers who want to highlight graphics-rich applications that require more space. The XT2 still has a 5-inch display, compared to the XT1’s 5.9 inch. That’s not a huge compromise, and it’s in a form factor that’s a lot smaller and sleeker, and weighs only 10 ounces.”
The touch screen is strengthened with Corning Gorilla Glass 3.
“An area where a lot of tablets fail is the display, but this device comes with the Gorilla Glass 3, which is built to take a beating,” Lerner said.
The XT2 has dual-band 802.11a/b/g/n, Bluetooth 4.0 and 4G LTE connectivity. With Zebra’s slim-format SE4710 scan engine, it can quickly and accurately capture barcode data from more than two feet away. It also has NFC and RFID reading capabilities, and an optional magnetic stripe reader.
“We have already won some deals with the product, because our salespeople have had it before the formal launch,” Lerner said. “Despite our best efforts, we often find that we channel a product for one market and find it is adopted by others. However, we think delivery, transportation, logistics are logical ones. We have also had some interesting field force automation and sales force automation inquiries. We also think it will work well on the manufacturing floor, the building inspections market, automotive inspections, large auto plants, and venue access within the hospitality space.”
“We expect the street price will be aggressive, and we will be aggressive on the price point,” Lerner said. “We offer substantial discounts for customers who commit to growth and volume as well.”
Almost all of Janam’s sales go through channel partners, of which they have a large number.
“The reseller community is more and more looking for an alternative to the two large incumbents in the industry,” Lerner said. “That consolidation, for resellers, has created fewer good choices in the market. That has strengthened our relationships with resellers. They have recognized that we are a more viable strategic alternative for them. We are now the logical alternative for an increasing number of resellers.”
That applies to smaller partners as well, Lerner said.
“The larger players are more focused on larger dealers, so smaller players feel neglected,” he said. “We don’t neglect that enormous segment of the market that feels forgotten. It’s a very good time to focus on those folks and treat every customer like they are important.”