The Pantech paradox

In the world of mobile phones, although Pantech recently took the number two spot away from LG Electronics in the Korean market, they are relatively unknown outside of their home market. On the worldwide scene, Korea’s top cell phone manufacturer—Samsung Electronics—is recognized for its innovations, like the first phone with a 3 GB hard drive, but it seems that Pantech is little more a wallflower in this global dance.

Pantech does aim to be one of the top five worldwide phone makers by 2007, but if they simply stay the course, it’s clear that they will not achieve that goal. The keys seems to be innovation, promotion and market presence. According to Telecoms Korea, “Pantech doesn’t stand out in quality, technological pioneering, ability as a trendsetter, and innovation in design.” Thus, to my knowledge (correct me if I’m wrong), no (or very few) Pantech phones are carried by any mobile provider in North America.

One UBS analyst said, “Although Pantech has been struggling hard to solidify its position in the global market, the result was, and will be far from encouraging.” So Pantech, take whatever strengths you’ve used in Korea and apply them to the rest of the world.


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