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i-mate closing its US office?

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 2-Mar-2008 09:37

Vodafone New Zealand was at the forefront of Windows Mobile adoption within the group when a few years back they started selling the i-mate products. Those were the i-mate Pocket PC Phone, Smartphone2, SPJAS, SP5, Jasjar, KJam and a couple I can't remember the names.

Since then the Vodafone group has sourced their devices directly from the manufacturers and imprinted their own brand - but not in New Zealand.

But back to i-mate, last year HTC stopped supplying those devices to i-mate, who in turn decided to create their own design and get some other companies to manufacture them.

It didn't work so well it seems.

Back in February 2007 they announced the Ultimate series. And weren't those the ugliest things on this planet? I mean, I wouldn't want to be caught using these devices. And yes I even (briefly) played with one:



In February 2007 they said these devices would be in the market by end 2007. By September 2007 they were saying the devices would be out early 2008. And now Expansys lists some of these devices as "discontinued"

The company is now laying off most of its employees in the US, according to Engadget:


that i-mate's US division in Redmond, Washington has all but disintegrated after a Friday bloodbath that saw the entire engineering, QA, and tech writing departments laid off, among others. Several honchos who weren't cut left anyway, perhaps unwilling to work in a ghost town or as a show of solidarity to their fallen brethren; notably, the Chief Software Officer and VP of Sales and Marketing are both gone, leaving a sales director to be promoted to the lofty title of GM of what seems to be all US operations. Apparently, the Dubai-based firm is in the hurt locker after its inability to get the Ultimate line (also known as "the basket with all of i-mate's eggs in it") fully deployed to retail channels in the time frame it had hoped, and meeting massive resistance from US carriers to carry the devices, it's been left with no option but to leave behind just enough employees to set up and maintain a web-based portal


Meanwhile on a more local note, of all the nice Windows Mobile devices Vodafone New Zealand showed me back in 2007 (which I still can't talk about), only the Palm 500v made it to the market.





Other related posts:
Windows Phone and Android apps screen comparison
Windows Phone 8 Portico update: at last here in New Zealand
Windows Phone updates, again






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Mauricio Freitas
Wellington
New Zealand


I live in New Zealand and my interests include mobile devices, good books, movies and food of course! 

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