Smartphone maker i-mate shuts down over fraud

Natalie Apostolou
30 Sep 2009

Pioneering Windows-based smartphone manufacturer i-Mate has been embroiled in an alleged $15 million fraud saga.

The Dubai-headquartered company, run by former O2 executive Jim Morrison, has abruptly shut its doors amid claims that a former employee has committed undefined fraud against the company.

Confirming the company’s closure to Arabian Business, CEO Morrison said “this is the first time I have ever wanted to murder someone. Eight years of my life I put into this. Personally I have lost about $6 million, cash.”

Morrison, a member of the O2 team that designed the first O2 Xda Pocket PC handset, launched the company in Glasgow in 2001. He subsequently obtained rights to HTC products outside of O2 territories and setup i-mate in Dubai with an operation that extended to the UK, Italy, Australia, India, South Africa and the USA . By 2006, i-mate had sold over 420,000 Windows-based handsets.

Last October the company delisted its shares from the London based AIM stock market in order to save around €1.3 million ($1.9 million) a year in listing costs.

While details of what type of fraudulent activity have yet to surface. Morrison has publicly blamed a former employee. However, no employees have been formally charged.

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