Vendor View: PCD Taps the Future of Phones
Personal Communications Devices (PCD), once known as Audiovox Communications and then as UTStarcom Personal Communications, is a company with a 30-year history in mobile telecommunications that parallels the birth and growth of the cellular phone category. As a veteran market participant involved in mobile devices' full lifecycle—supplying devices to service providers, advising them on marketing, and taking care of end-user tech-support issues—the company can speak with authority about wireless handheld market trends and about trends in all its dizzying corollaries in this age of digital convergence, the smartphone and the tablet computer.
The company recently brought out the Pantech Crux and the Casio Ravine, both available from Verizon. The sets make up a chunk of PCD's bread-and-butter category of wireless handsets, but they address palpable market needs the company has helped its carrier partners to identify and fill.
The Crux is a very basic smartphone that is also a full-touch wireless QWERTY texting device, while the Ravine is waterproof, dustproof and shockproof. "We had one reviewer even take the Ravine, run over it with a car, and then make a call on it," said Joe Cufari, chief marketing officer and vice president of PCD's Advanced Devices Division.