i-mate

i-mate

Though it wasn't an actual manufacturing company, Dubai-based i-mate looked to make a business out of buying Windows Mobile smartphones from Asian manufacturers (primarily HTC before HTC began promoting its own brand), rebranding them with the i-mate logo and selling them through wireless carriers and direct sales channels in Europe, the United States and elsewhere.

At the height of its business in around 2006, i-mate offered a range of Windows Mobile smartphones primarily targeted at business users. The company also sold value-added software and services of its own on its devices to set itself apart from the competition.

However, i-mate suffered a number of stumbles. First, excitement for Windows Mobile began to dwindle as other platforms gained share. Further, the company's main supplier, HTC, discontinued supplying i-mate with handsets as HTC sought to boost its own brand among shoppers. Finally, and perhaps most importantly, i-mate in 2009 said a senior employee within the organization had committed "major fraud," and that police were investigating the issue. That was the last major headline to come out of the company, which faded into the history of the wireless handset industry shortly thereafter.

i-mate
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