i-mate Bringing Four “Ultimate” Models to North America

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i-mate has officially set availability dates for some of its extremely high-end "Ultimate" line of Pocket PC phones, the Ultimate 6150 and 8150, as well as revealing two new models in this series, the 8502 and 9502.

The Ultimate line is distinguished by its high specifications: all models include a VGA screen, 3G, 256 MB of flash and 128 MB of RAM, and an nVidia GoForce 5500 video accelerator chip. The new 8502 and 9502 also add internal GPS to the package, while replacing the 520 MHz XScale processor their sibling models use with a 400 MHz Qualcomm chip.

While all of the devices have nearly identical specifications, they vary significantly in form-factor. The 6150 features a plain tablet design, where the 8150 uses a smaller screen to fit in a numeric keypad. The 8502 has a small thumb keyboard, while the 9502’s screen slides up to expose a larger keyboard.

Long Delays

While the Ultimate series was originally announced with five models last January, no proper street dates have been forthcoming, and rumors have circulated that three of the original models — the clamshell 7150 and 9150, and sliding 5150 — were going to be canceled. This was immediately followed by reports that they would not be canceled, and most of the units would be available beginning in September. Neither report has been confirmed.

Availability

The Ultimate 6150 and 8150 will be available in November for unlocked prices of $695 and $725 respectively. The 8502 and 9502 are expected to hit the street later in the fourth quarter of 2007, for as yet undetermined prices.

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