Samsung replaces its Head of Design less than a month after Galaxy S5 launch

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Michael Homnick

It looks like Samsung is in the market for a makeover. Barely a month after the launch of its flagship Galaxy S5, the company appointed a new head for its design team.

In an email, Samsung announced that vice president Min-hyouk Lee was promoted to head of design within the Mobile Communications Business unit. His predecessor, Dong-Hoon Chang, will keep his focus centered around Samsung's long-term design strategy.

In the competition for most stylish Android chassis, Samsung is a bit behind the curve. It's not that anything is inherently bad with the manufacturer's Galaxy handset designs; it's just that, for the most part, Samsung has played it safe by sticking to curved lines and plastic bodies. It sounds like Samsung has taken some of the criticism on its design strategy to heart.

“The design has been consistently commented on for the last two or three years, especially the lack of high-end materials. The Galaxy S family is still successful, so Samsung must be doing something right. But the fact is that the design doesn’t have a quality feel,” Nick Spencer, senior practice director at ABI Research told our sister site, PCWorld. He added that Samsung's newly appointed design head needs needs to focus his efforts on developing a more distinct design language and pick better materials. There's a reason so many were fawning over the HTC One's aluminum chassis; it's a far cry from the masses of plastic bodies that have permeated the Android market.

Fortunately for Samsung, it still holds the top spot for Android handset sales and its clout likely won't degrade with the news of employee reshuffling. There's no question that the company's influence on the mobile world is strong, but will it manage to influence smartphone design going forward?

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