You may not have heard much about them apart from a couple of phones that made it to the UK, but Pantech is one of the most well-respected electronics manufacturers in Asia.

Now, adding to the growing reputation of the Korean firm, its phone and packaging designs have been singled out for recognition by the International Forum (iF) Design Award for excellence and innovation.

Pantech's Flexus 03 mobile phone won the iF Advanced Studies award in the consumer electronics/telecommunications category, with judges singling out its curved screen and trackball input device.

As you can see in our photo, the Flexus is a desirable piece of kit, which makes it a shame that it is still in the pre-production stage.

Also, in the unusual packaging design field, the company's mobile phone box was honoured. The so-called 'one-touch-open cap' houses phones such as the Flexus model and is designed to give buyers a feeling of luxury about their new toy.

Let's hope Pantech keeps up the good work and continues its push west from Korea. J Mark Lytle