Samsung’s Mobile Design Chief Steps Down

May 14, 2014

Samsung’s mobile design chief resigned. What’s next for the company?

Samsung’s mobile design chief, Chang Dong-hoon, resigned from his position at the South Korean tech company in the wake of the Galaxy S5’s release. With the Galaxy S5 continuing to shatter sales records, though, why would the company’s design chief step down?

Galaxy S5 Design Flaws Trigger Resignation

The Galaxy S5 has received mostly positive reviews from critics and consumers alike, many of whom praise Samsung for producing a smartphone with exceptional hardware and software capabilities. But there’s one universal criticism that many people have complained about: the design.

The Galaxy S5 didn’t exactly bring anything new to Samsung’s Galaxy line, as it still possessed the same plastic body that’s found in its predecessors. We talked about the possibility of Samsung using an all-metal design in the Galaxy S5 before the device was released, but in the end they kept the familiar plastic body. This plastic design ultimately drew negative criticism, with people complaining that it felt cheap and flimsy — especially for a premium smartphone like Samsung’s flagship Galaxy line

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,” wrote Nick Spencer, senior director at ABI Research.

What’s Next For Samsung

With Chang Dong-hoon no longer at the helm of Samsung’s mobile design, the company’s vice president of mobile design, Lee Min-hyouk, will take over his position. At 42 years of age, Lee became one of the youngest senior executives at Samsung in 2010 when he began working on the Galaxy project. Lee was given the name “Midas” for his golden touch when working on the Galaxy line, so let’s hope he lives up to the namesake in future Galaxy models as well.

Samsung isn’t exactly hurting for business in the smartphone market. According to some estimates, the company sells approximately twice as many smartphones as Apple, which is due in part to its highly successful Galaxy line. But change is always a welcome addition in the dynamic mobile market, and failing to push the boundaries with hardware, software, design or other means will result in companies getting left behind in the dust.

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