Samsung’s new head of mobile design isn’t a big change from its former lead.
The company is replacing Chang Dong-hoon as the head of its mobile design team with Lee Min-hyouk, its vice president of mobile design, Reuters reports.
Following a tepid response to the design of the recently released Galaxy S5, Chang reportedly offered up his resignation last week. But in a statement today, a Samsung spokesperson clarified that he’ll be focusing on the company’s corporate design center, which manages Samsung’s design strategy company-wide.
Its unclear if the executive musical chairs will matter much for Samsung’s future design. Lee has helped to oversee the design of Samsung’s Galaxy S series since it launched, so he’s not exactly a pair of fresh eyes. While the Galaxy S phones ended up being hugely successful for Samsung, they also cemented its reliance on dull designs and plastic cases.
And even if Lee has some big ideas to change Samsung’s design approach, it will likely be more than a year until we see them implemented.
Even though I found the Galaxy S5 to be Samsung’s most refined Android smartphone yet, I’m not surprised that consumers may not be recognizing its subtle strengths. It looks a lot like last year’s Galaxy S4, and its plastic case seems almost toy-like compared to HTC’s new One and the iPhone 5S. Useful features like the S5’s water-resistant case and excellent camera aren’t as immediately apparent to anyone but gadget geeks.