Samsung has replaced the head of mobile design over criticism of the Galaxy S5 design remaining largely the same. This can be seen from how the physical design of S5 differing very slightly to the S3 (the very first design iteration). Some of this criticisms include how plasticky, light and cheap the S5 feels in comparison to that of the HTC M8 or Xperia Z2.
The vice president of mobile design, Lee Min-Hyu who is responsible for the first Galaxy S design, will be taking over from Chang Dong-Hoon, the head of mobile design. The rationale behind this, is to enable Lee Min-Hyu to have better control and flexibility over Samsung’s mobile design therefore improving the visual aspects of future devices.
The issue however is whether Lee Min-Hyu possesses the creativity and talent necessary to bring about major overhaul of the overall design that all Samsung devices draw from, as the design difference from the S1, S2 and S3 isn’t particularly revolutionary. Another consideration is Samsung’s strategy of implementing a singular design on a variety of devices regardless of them being a tablet or a phone. Granted, other manufactures are guilty of the same design policy, but the sheer number of devices that Samsung throws out, leads to consumers being tired of seeing the same ‘clone’ being used time and time again. This probably reflects the view most of us have, of wanting a device that is sexy, works well and is uniquely our own. Samsung’s strategy seems then to throw this idea into our faces.
Another implication of this change of personnel signals Samsung’s intent to take customers’ criticism seriously and recognition that simply being the largest Android manufacturer does not translate to sales being good regardless of how the device looks. As a result of an increasing number of players in the market, which offers cheaper devices with both the specification (specs) and design to match, consumers are more spoilt for choice and less likely to take a device which simply has good specs. An example of this is the Oneplus One which has similar specs, better design and cheaper.
In short, Samsung’s spot as the king of smartphones will largely depend on how innovative it can be. This is not merely limited to software design but also how aesthetically pleasing future devices are. More effort has to be placed into hardware design so as to continue attracting potential customers while retaining current users. After all, complacency is what kills companies. Nokia or Blackberry are excellent examples of this.