BusinessWeek reports on the revival efforts of Korean cellphone manufacturer Pantech after seeing no returns from their 3-year hardcore focus on design. This included semester-long collaborations with students at the California College of the Arts, where students walked away with real-world industry experience and Pantech gained insight into the uninhibited mind of the student. The resulting concepts yielded design awards and some media attention, but to Pantech's dismay, they did not produce revenue.
For its part, Pantech was also reminded of the need to keep one eye on its core business at all times: The semester-long project may have resulted in a series of interesting prototypes and new ways of thinking about mobile communications, but its conclusion also saw the company being put into a debt-rescheduling program by creditors. A $613 million rescue package was announced at the end of March. Chief Executive Officer and Co-President Sung-Kyu Lee resigned earlier this month.
Read the article and view a slideshow of the Pantech/CCA concepts here.