This is another one of those generic phones that your eyes tend to slide over, but it represents the bread and butter of much of the phone industry. It's a direct descendant of the Blackberry, and tuned to optimal functional and economic efficiency by Pantech, which (according to the current Wikipedia entry) is ahead of LG in terms of sales in its domestic Korea. That means that this cheap phone--and it is very cheap: its retail price of $50 means that it probably costs Pantech $10 to make--is what see on the surface of a huge business. As such, it's interesting to see what it does and doesn't do: first, it doesn't have to be recharged for 10 days; second, it's very small and thin (it was described as "the thinnest messaging device" on its release); third, it's really good at texting. And that's it. Like an animal that evolved in a highly specialized ecosystem, this is the product of an evolution of phones for cost-conscious busy people who mostly need to send email and need their phone available all the time. In other words, the ecosystem that BlackBerry pioneered. This, in some ways, is a phone that RIM should have made, if they were willing to have microscopic profit margins and were able to capture a huge market.
A phone a day: Pantech Slate C530 (2008)
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