With the i-mate Ultimate 6150 already approved by the FCC and the Ultimate 8150 just recently getting the FCC-greenlight, i-mate is poised to make a big splash in the high-end US Windows Mobile smartphone market. The Windows Mobile 6.0 Professional-powered Ultimate 8150 and 6150 are slated to launch in November with those blazing-fast 520Mhz CPU, HSDPA, WiFi, GPS, 2 megapixel cameras, FM radio, Bluetooth 2.0, TV-out, and that glorious VGA display.
Well, the good folks over at the i-mate booth (#133) here at CTIA San Francisco were kind enough to let us in a few details. It seems the highly-anticipated i-mate Ultimate 7150 has been put on the back-burner while i-mate and Arima work to “develop the platform further.” Sounds to us like the Ultimate 7150 has been nixed from the product lineup. Those previous rumors of the Ultimate lineup getting the ax may have been based on some truth – it seems i-mate has chosen to go a slightly different route with a portion of their lineup.
Most notably, there were two new beautiful Ultimate models available for some playtime. The i-mate Ultimate 8502 and 9502 are both Windows Mobile 6.0-powered jobbies – the Ultimate 8502 is a monoblock handset with a full-QWERTY keyboard below the display, while the Ultimate 9502 rocks a spring-loaded sliding-keyboard, a la Sidekick Slide. The VGA resolution displays were amazing, and we came away with a positive impression of both devices – solidly built, and up to par with Stefan’s “denser is better” philosophy. The white-backlit keys on both the Ultimate 8502 and 9502 are nice and easy on the eyes, and did we mention the amazing VGA display? Well, it’s trick.
The i-mate reps indicated that the i-mate Ultimate 8502 and 9502 could be on schedule for a “late 4Q delivery” – possibly by December 23 or early January at the latest. We can’t wait to get our hands on review units of these bad boys. The Ultimate 8150 and 6150 review units are on the way (ETA: a “couple” weeks), and the Ultimate 8502 and 9502 review units will be shipping shortly thereafter. Make sure to keep checking back for more details on the hot, QWERTY-packing Ultimate 8502 and 9502 smartphones soon!
Hit the “read” link for more pics of the as yet unannounced i-mate Ultimate 8502 and 9502.