COMMENT: iMate is a Company that is attempting to grab marketshare in the fast growing SmartPhone market but they have a long way to go if they are to be taken seriously.

The market for Smart phones is set to become even more competitive than what it is now with brands like Motorola set to move into the Australian market early in 2007. For Companies like iMate a Dubai based Company that sells Smart phones like the JasJam via Telstra and Optus it means further investment in service and support if they are to remain competitive.  

Currently they are operating on the cheap with limited resources in Australia and an appalling service and warranty record. Their phones in the past have been excellent but their new range in particular their new $1200 JasJam is not up to scratch when compared to the likes of the Sony Ericsson M600i.

Following a shocking experience with an iMate SmartPhone I visited a local Telstra store to seek help with an iMate JasJam. This is a $1200 Smartphone which iMate claims is a leading edge communication device.

My problem was that the device had failed to re load the full operating system during a re boot. A visit to the iMate web site was of little help. All they did was refer me to a Telstra shop where they also were unable to help me.

“We sell iMate’s but they are not a good Company to deal with” a Telstra retail employee told me. “Their warranty is bad and we get a lot of complaints. All we can do is refer you up the food chain”

With the Xmas New Year period being one of the busiest of the year for mobile phone sales one would at least expect local support but this was impossible to find.  iMate is not in the phone book or listed in the White pages. A visit to their web site Is equally confusing with the 24/7 button for so called “Live Support Online” going nowhere.  

Then when one finally gets through to a support page, one is asked to join an iMate club with members being given priority.

iMate  is cutting costs and corners at the expense of consumers. Their products are not up to scratch with the Company failing to deliver both information on upgrades or links to a new generation of Microsoft software. For a Company that calls themselves a communication Company their web site is appalling and they appear to have no intention of delivering support on the ground here in Australia. Instead all they want to do is sell phones to carriers and then have them handle all the problems.

Companies like Nokia, Motorola, Sony Ericsson  all have extensive operations in Australia and iMate if they are to be taken seriously have to seriously address the way in which they operate.

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