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Pantech, UTStarcom ink deal for CDMA phones

Chris Ziegler

We know who gets the lion's share of Pantech's GSM love in the States, but that leaves a large portion of their product portfolio -- their CDMA handsets -- without a proper home. Sure, they've got the Nokia deal in full swing, but as far as we know that's only good for a grand total of two rebadged models, and Nokia's already indicated they ultimately plan to spread the wealth among several ODMs for their CDMA line. Enter perennial rebadger UTStarcom, a company known for getting cozy with a variety of manufacturers to keep their product line fully stocked. A new deal with Pantech will make UTStarcom the exclusive owner of Pantech's CDMA products in all of North and Latin America (Brazil curiously excluded) for the next three years, pretty much guaranteeing that the Nokia arrangement will end after the two phones they've already agreed upon. With Pantech's stock seemingly on the rise right now, the deal could be a hot one for UTStarcom -- though with the HTC Libra in the pipeline, we can only hope other ODM deals are unaffected.

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