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i-mate ramps up retail focus with Redington

by Stuart Wilson, Thursday 27 March 2008

Mobile device outfit i-mate has announced a new Middle East partnership with distribution powerhouse Redington. Under the terms of the channel partnership Redington will increase the availability of i-mate products in stores and enhance resellers and retail support in the UAE, Kuwait, Oman and Qatar. Redington now has more than 400 employees in the Middle East and Africa region and offers service support in more than 17 countries.

Jack Craine, general manager Middle East, Africa and India at i-mate, said: “We have seen increased demand for our Ultimate and JAMA ranges across the region. Redington is the ideal partner for us since their credibility and track record is second to none. Their teams, offices and logistics in the UAE, Kuwait, Oman and Qatar will serve to represent i-mate and will drive our reseller and retail penetration in those markets.”

Sumant Saran, VP of Redington’s telecom division, added: “Seeing the explosive growth of the Windows Mobile market globally, Redington wanted to partner with a strong vendor to enhance our portfolio. i-mate is the obvious choice for us since they are no doubt the regional pioneer and leader of Windows Mobile devices.”

AIM-quoted i-mate has had a tough start to 2008 with supply problems creating problems for the company’s US operations earlier this year. The company announced in late January that one of its leading chip suppliers had failed to supply its manufacturers with the required volume of chips over this quarter. In addition, a recent court ruling against the same chip supplier over IP infringements meant that i-mate would not be able to sell some of its devices in the US.

Jim Morrison, CEO of i-mate stated at the time: “This is hugely disappointing for the Company and although we have devices which are not dependent on this chip set, it has a significant impact on the range of product we have to sell. We have no alternative but to review the strategic options for the company at this time.”

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