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Thu 5 Apr 2007 09:57 AM

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i-mate slashes jobs in region

The troubled smart phone manufacturer has axed some of its Dubai-based staff.

Mobile handset manufacturer i-mate has axed some of its Dubai-based staff as part of "restructuring" of its operations, the vendor said this week.

The company said the restructuring was the result of the "changing business landscape, both globally and in the Middle East".

"As a result there have been some changes which regrettably have led to a small number of redundancies," i-mate said in a statement.

A spokesperson for the firm told
IT Weekly

it has made 10 of its 75 Dubai-based staff redundant. I-mate has been headquartered in the emirate since 2003, having relocated from Glasgow, UK.

The firm, which employs over 200 people globally, did not say if job cuts were planned elsewhere.

The cuts are the latest in a series of problems for i-mate, which produces smart phones and handheld devices.

It warned in January that it would make a loss in the second half of its financial year, which closed last month.

Jim Morrison, i-mate CEO, said in January that the firm would review its cost base, as it was experiencing "significant problems" with suppliers, compounding "challenges" it had experienced in switching last year from Taiwan-based HTC as its main product supplier.

Simon Baker, IDC programme manager for mobile devices, said i-mate's comparatively small size could count against it in the market, as rivals packed more features into high-end phones.

"The difficulty for a small supplier like i-mate in that context is that they suddenly come up against really big industry players and it is difficult for them to compete in terms of advertising and promotion and brand image," he said.

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