To be clear, there are already plenty of rugged smartphones on the market, but Samsung’s distribution and manufacturing prowess could bring the ruggedized device to a broader audience.
According to the Wall Street Journal, Samsung is developing a version of the Galaxy S4 smartphone, tentatively called Galaxy S4 Active that is waterproof and dust-proof. It would have the same sized 5-inch display as the standard S4.
Samsung hasn’t actually shipped the standard S4 yet, and the WSJ reports supply issues may push its release back beyond its original release date of this month.
In an earnings call earlier this week, Apple CEO Tim Cook claimed the larger screen smartphones have designs that compromise battery life and other features and that Apple wouldn’t ship a larger screen version of the iPhone that would include such compromises.
If all goes as planned, the Galaxy S4 Active will reportedly ship in July.
With its large 5-inch display and touchscreen, smartphones the size of the Samsung's Android-powered Galaxy S4 and larger are sometimes referred to as a phablet – a cross between a smartphone and tablet.