As we've witnessed time and time again, Pantech's been keen on turning out concepts demonstrating possible future directions of cellphone design -- and indeed, it seems like a commendable effort just as long as a hearty portion of the concepts' radical ideas eventually find their way into production handsets. Even when saddled with sagging profits, an emergency package of relief funding, and an ousted CEO, the last thing a smart company wants to do is abandon clever, forward-thinking design. That's exactly the situation Pantech has found itself in as of late, dealing with a daunting financial gauntlet on one hand while doing what it can to promote fresh thought and turn out yet more crazy industrial design through a one-semester program with the California College of the Arts. Pantech's design group manager Seung Soo Yi is insistent that the exercise was a valuable one -- both for the company and for CCA's students -- and we tend to agree. Next up, a Pantech "task force" will review the handiwork and see how it can shoehorn the goodness into its production lineup; for the sake phone enthusiasts everywhere and for the sake of Pantech's own future, we hope it's stocked with some pretty bright individuals.

[Via Core77]

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Pantech: design focus didn't turn profit, but that's cool