Ever wondered what happened to i-mate? After going bankrupt, and possibly leaving their CEO in danger of heading to Dubai’s debtor’s prison… news became a bit too quiet. The company was believed to have owned patents, a wide range of powerful devices, a couple of aging Windows Mobile applications, and a ruggedized phone platform that was starting to take off.
That last one may have been the motivating factor for HTC to acquire the company. HTC has struggled with ruggedized Windows Mobile phones, and that was i-mate’s last-ditch effort to save the company.
There is little-to-no information on the acqusition. In fact, the only way we found out about it was when HTC posted a phone number indicating that they were honoring i-mate warranties.
In case you were wondering about where i-mate cratered, you can now check that off your list of mysteries. Oddly enough, i-mate ran into financial (not to mention technical) difficulties when they struggled to break free from HTC as an Original Device Manufacturer (ODM). It seems a bit ironic that their final internal designs warranted HTC to acquire the company.