2009 has been rather bumpy and unnerving year for just about anyone in the cell phone world. Faced with slowing sales and contracting market, quite a few manufacturers had to tighten their belts and pray they make it through. It seems the aftermath of the financial meltdown, paired with the fierce competition proved to be way too much to handle for i-mate, the company that was once touted the UK rival to BlackBerry.
Last Wednesday, the Dubai-based management of the company circulated messages to all employees saying they would have to take a two month unpaid leave, although this was short lived indeed, since workers were sent another message on the following day, going that the company effectively was ceasing all activities. This has also been confirmed by unofficial letters sent to cell phone retailers. We cannot say the news of i-mate going belly-up comes out of left field, at least not entirely. Having plummeted to as much as $0.18 (£0.12) last November, i-mate was de-listed from FTSE and its shares taken off trade in London. It´s just too bad that we will never see the rugged i-mate 810F
that got announced February this year.
I-mate was a Dubai-based company founded in 2003. It took off by re-selling HTC-made devices and the partnership between the two companies led to several successful models, but their co-operation ended in 2006 when HTC went on to sell handsets under their own brand name. Eventually, i-mate switched over to Inventec and TechFaith, but their devices were below par alongside of what HTC was offering at the time. The company never managed to get back to its feet after the parting. Their share value began to crumble and hit rock bottom last November, several days before the company got officially de-listed from the London Stock Exchange. If you want to know more about the handsets the company offered before it went bust, please take a look at the specification lists via the source links below.