Can we believe it? Well, we have to (or not) since it comes from Jim Morrison
himself - founder and CEO of Dubai based i-mate - who recently held a
presentation during the 2006
MÃƒÂ¶bius conference in Boston and according to him, the
isn't accidentally that ugly but "by design". According to Mr. Morrison, it was
a request from corporate i-mate customers to have a device they can get to their
employees. Feature-rich (which it is since it is based on Windows Mobile) to
seriously support mobile workers but ugly enough not to be stolen ("Who is
steeling an ugly phone? Nobody, as much as nobody is steeling an ugly car" said
Jim Morrison). Another fact, Jim Morrison cleared up, that i-mate's contract
with HTC isn't finished yet, as it was reported recently. In fact it's in place
for a couple more months but from now, i-mate is looking to release exclusive
devices only, exclusive to i-mate and its customers. i-mate isn't interested
anymore in selling rebranded devices only but the device (design) has to be
exclusive to i-mate.
That said, Jim Morrison said that i-mate plans to launch
around 15 devices during the next 12 months. Also he mentioned, that most of the
devices will be Pocket PC Phone devices (offsite I spoke with him and while he
is a big fan of thumb keyboard-enabled devices, he don't think that the
Smartphone version is a good choice to use for these kind of devices but stylus
based Pocket PC is fitting better). Nevertheless, i-mate will for sure also
launch a couple of Windows Mobile Smartphone.
Last but not least, in future i-mate will break its devices into three different
classes: "Ultimate" (targeting Geeks), "Stealth" (targeting regular consumers
and corporate customers) and "Light" (low-end mass-market devices).
hasn't made any further devices announcements yet, so we have to wait to see
what i-mate is working on.
Cheers ~ Arne