PCD outlines smartphone push, eyes tablet market

Mobile phone supplier Personal Communications Devices today showed off a range of handsets it is selling in the U.S. market, and also offered hints on its plans for the future.

Joseph Cufari, head of PCD's Advanced Devices Division, said the company is at the CTIA Enterprise & Applications show to highlight its portfolio of devices, including the Sharp FX, the Pantech Jest and the HTC Droid Incredible.

Based in Hauppauge, N.Y., with around 250 employees, privately held PCD essentially acts as glue between Asian electronics manufacturers and wireless carriers such as AT&T Mobility (NYSE:T), Sprint Nextel (NYSE:S), Verizon Wireless (NYSE:VZ) and others. The company works to supply wireless devices to carriers, and generally stamps those devices with just the carrier's brand. Thus, PCD isn't a consumer-facing supplier, but rather a business-to-business operation for wireless carriers in North and South America.

For example, with the HTC Droid Incredible, PCD ships the device to Verizon stores, and then also provides after-sale support. When Droid Incredible customers call Verizon with handset problems, those calls go to PCD. Cufari said some operators prefer to have PCD act as a middleman, while others work directly with the handset manufacturer. He said HTC works directly with Sprint and T-Mobile USA.

Last year PCD handled 12 million devices and rang up $2 billion in revenues.

PCD formed Cufari's Advanced Devices Division last year to target markets beyond phones, including those for netbooks and tablets. Cufari said the business is currently bidding on carriers' requests for tablets, but he declined to provide details.

Interestingly, Cufari said PCD also is eying the market for handset accessories, as well as offering mobile content services that carry a recurring revenue stream. Further, he said the company hopes to sell devices that will broaden a carrier's network, but noted such devices are not femtocells. He declined to provide details.

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