Ultimate "30 times more powerful" than iPhone, claims Morrison

i-mate is to unveil the most advanced mobile phone ever seen in the Middle East in September at the annual GITEX show in Dubai - a device 30 times more powerful than Apple's new iPhone, CEO Jim Morrison has exclusively revealed to Arabian Business.

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By  James Bennett Published  June 23, 2007

i-mate is to unveil the most advanced mobile phone ever seen in the Middle East in September at the annual GITEX show in Dubai - a device 30 times more powerful than Apple's new iPhone, CEO Jim Morrison has exclusively revealed to Arabian Business.

"The Ultimate phone range will be vastly superior to anything the Middle East has ever seen," Morrison told Arabian Business from Seattle, USA.

"No other phone device will be able to drive a 42-inch plasma TV, project high definition videos from the phone onto a TV, play and download iTunes - you can't download iTunes onto another phone."

According to the i-mate CEO, as smartphones, the Ultimate devices will allow consumers to download songs over-the-air (without cables) directly onto their phones rather than have to connect to a computer via a USB cable, while iPhones will require users to load songs by connecting it via a cable on your computer.

"The iPhone is US$500 plus US$49 a month for a two-year contract. That's around US$1500 for two years and we'll be well under that," Morrison said.

i-mate is due to launch a series of new devices in September including the Ultimate, Urban and Jama ranges, however Morrison refused to disclose how many models there would be in each range. He said that the Ultimate's "big selling point" would be its power and high bandwidth, "around 3.6MB compared to the iPhone's 128K". He added that the retail value on each phone had "yet to be decided".

The last 12 months have been a turbulent time for i-mate including a vast restructuring programme and change of supplier causing its results for the year ended March 31, 2007 to slip as a result.

Its turnover dropped US$11m from US$206m to US$195m this year; its gross profit margin fell from 24.1% in 2006 to 18.6% in 2007; while it made a pre-tax loss of US$2.1m this year compared to a dramatic US$22.5m profit in 2006.

Morrison admitted that the first half of this financial year "wouldn't be brilliant" with a "bit of a loss" appearing, but that the second half of the next financial year would see the introduction of the Ultimate range and that its fortunes would rise as a result.

"A lot of new and never-before-seen products will come onto the market and will work," Morrison said. "The quality bar we have set ourselves and on our new devices has never been higher."

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