Tepid Response to Galaxy S5 Prompts Samsung Design Exec’s Replacement
When Samsung revealed its Galaxy S5 smartphone back in February, it seemed as though the company was pretty happy with what they’d created. But the newest Galaxy was quickly overshadowed by HTC’s newest handset, the One M8, which captured the hearts and minds of tech critics, making the S5 old news before it was even on the shelves. Apparently the fact that the world has already moved beyond the S5 was not lost on the higher ups at Samsung, as news broke today that the man running the company’s mobile design team has been replaced.
According to a report from Reuters, Chang Dong-hoon, who, it seems was the main man responsible for designing the Galaxy S5, offered to resign from his position last week, and the company has named Mobile Design Vice President Lee Min-hyouk as his replacement. Samsung offered up a statement regarding Chang’s duties going forward, which will still include leading the company’s overall design strategy:
“The realignment will enable Chang to focus more on his role as head of the Design Strategy Team, the company’s corporate design center which is responsible for long-term design strategy across all of Samsung’s businesses, including Mobile Communications.”
Meanwhile, the post points out that Lee had been the major force in designing the Galaxy series starting back in 2010, when the original Galaxy S managed to disrupt Apple’s iPhone dominance. As such, Lee is probably a pretty good person to replace Chang if the company wants to maintain a sense of continuity with its flagship product line.
On the other hand, one of the main issues with the S5 seems to be its resemblance to its predecessors. The Galaxy line of phones hasn’t done much to make bold new design moves, leaving many critics frustrated at Samsung’s squandered potential. So is bringing back the man who ushered in the design in the first place the best way to shake things up?
Despite how long we’ve known about it, the Galaxy S5 has only been on the market for a few weeks. It’s anybody’s guess how well it’ll perform when all is said and done. But no matter what, this incident paints the handset as a relative failure in the eyes of the mobile tech industry. So now the pressure is on the designers of the Galaxy S6 to truly transform the product line into something worth talking about.
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