Samsung sacks mobile design chief after tepid reception for Galaxy S5

Posted:
in iPhone edited May 2014
With critics and consumers alike voicing displeasure with the industrial design choices made in its latest flagship smartphone, Samsung on Thursday replaced mobile design leader Chang Dong-hoon with deputy Lee Min-hyouk.

Samsung G S5


Chang will give up his mobile design responsibilities to focus on a broader design language for each of the units under Samsung's corporate umbrella, according to Reuters. A massive conglomerate, Samsung's reach extends from shipyards to heavy industry and semiconductor manufacturing.

"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," Samsung told Reuters in a statement.

Thursday's move comes after a number of publications criticized the S5's construction. The Wall Street Journal said the Galaxy S5's textured back was reminiscent of a Band-Aid, while the International Business Times led with the headline "Samsung Galaxy S5: Looks Cheap, Feels Cheap."

Lee -- formerly an automotive designer -- is widely credited with the Galaxy line's initial design, which was well received upon the handsets' debut. It was those same designs, however, that eventually led Apple to sue Samsung.

"As a designer, there's an issue of dignity. (The Galaxy) is original from the beginning, and I'm the one who made it," Lee said in 2012 when Samsung and Apple were beginning to square off in court. "It's a totally different product with a different design language and different technology infused."

Courts by and large have not agreed with Lee's take, and Apple's legal challenges have been wildly successful. The iPhone maker has secured sales bans of Samsung products in a number of jurisdictions and been awarded more than $900 million in U.S.-based lawsuits.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 80
    MacProMacPro Posts: 19,697member
    'Design' chief? Seriously?
  • Reply 2 of 80
    netmagenetmage Posts: 314member
    Seems more like a promotion than a sack - why not fix the headline?
  • Reply 3 of 80
    rogifanrogifan Posts: 10,669member
    netmage wrote: »
    Seems more like a promotion than a sack - why not fix the headline?
    Because the former would have no reason for being an article here and the latter is good click bait. With the number of Samsung related articles here they might as well rename this site Samsung Insider.
  • Reply 4 of 80
    xzuxzu Posts: 139member
    He was in charge of design and all the office copiers. Sometimes you just get confused when have duel responsibilities.
  • Reply 5 of 80
    nikiloknikilok Posts: 383member

    "As a designer, there's an issue of dignity. (The Galaxy) is original from the beginning, and I'm the one who made it," Lee <a href="http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/03/23/net-us-samsung-idUSBRE82M05O20120323?feedType=RSS">said</a> in 2012 when Samsung and Apple were beginning to square off in court. "

    I don't believe he had the nerves to make that statement. How much of dignity has this guy got left ?

    Notice how Samsungs been trying lately through ads / reports lately to show they were indeed "Original" ?

    Part of there mind share damage control I suppose. People that realise Samsung copied off Apple have dignity issues buying there products. They are trying to fix that by making false claims.
  • Reply 6 of 80
    mactmact Posts: 26member
    But their commercials said the 5S was such a great phone!
  • Reply 7 of 80
    512ke512ke Posts: 782member
    Why would they fire the guy when they are spending a lot of money to promote the design of their flagship phone? They just gave a big presentation about the design of the S5 and how it's like a diamond etc. And they just released the ad campaign highlighting all the glowing reviews from Business Insider etc. They're too smart to undercut all that by firing the phone's designer. It must be a promotion as a reward for making the S5 such an awesome industrial design object.
  • Reply 8 of 80
    rsbellrsbell Posts: 11member
    Who's going to push the "Start" button on the copy machine now?
  • Reply 9 of 80
    mactmact Posts: 26member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by xZu View Post



    He was in charge of design and all the office copiers. Sometimes you just get confused when have duel responsibilities.

     

     

    "Office" copier! I thought I was the Apple copier.

  • Reply 10 of 80
    genovellegenovelle Posts: 1,480member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by NetMage View Post



    Seems more like a promotion than a sack - why not fix the headline?

    How is having one of your titles and most visible responsibilities striped a promotion.  He already had the other title but was replace as the designer of the product that they clearly thinking is most important with the crazy money they spent on trying to stupefy the American public. Its a sack.  They just need him to keep up the lies in the courtrooms.  A pissed off ex employee just wouldn't work out for them.    

  • Reply 11 of 80
    mattbookairmattbookair Posts: 172member
    So diamonds aren't forever, after all.
  • Reply 12 of 80
    dasanman69dasanman69 Posts: 13,002member
    mact wrote: »
    But their commercials said the 5S was such a great phone!

    The 5S is the iPhone. Is it really that hard to type SGS 5?
  • Reply 13 of 80
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 33,407member
    And his lifeless body will be found in the hull of a Samsung shipping lines boat five years from now.
  • Reply 14 of 80
    pmzpmz Posts: 3,433member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by digitalclips View Post



    'Design' chief? Seriously?

    I found his pic: http://www.governmentauctions.org/uploaded_images/copier-776439.JPG

  • Reply 15 of 80
    MacProMacPro Posts: 19,697member
  • Reply 16 of 80
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 24,088member
    512ke wrote: »
    Why would they fire the guy when they are spending a lot of money to promote the design of their flagship phone?

    Sacked?? According to the source article they didn't fire him.

    "Chang Dong-hoon offered to resign last week and will be replaced by Lee Min-hyouk, vice president for mobile design, a Samsung spokeswoman said on Thursday...
    Chang, a former professor who studied at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, will continue to lead Samsung's design center which overseas its overall design strategy."
  • Reply 17 of 80
    neilmneilm Posts: 984member

    Because Samsung couldn't sack Apple's design chief...

  • Reply 18 of 80
    tundraboytundraboy Posts: 1,882member

    "As a designer, there's an issue of dignity. (The Galaxy) is original from the beginning, and I'm the one who made it," Lee said in 2012 when Samsung and Apple were beginning to square off in court.

     

    This is one of those Palin-like quotes that sound like they came from The Onion but were actually uttered in full earnestness by some fool somewhere.  Real life, when it gets strange, gets really strange.

  • Reply 19 of 80
    grape ceogrape ceo Posts: 26member
    Samsung had a design chief, who knew?
    Makes for a great post on Reddit - TIL Samsung Mobile had a design chief
  • Reply 20 of 80
    iqatedoiqatedo Posts: 1,819member

    One must wonder just how much latitude this guy was allowed. Was he in a position to say for example 'no plastic back' or was he hamstrung by Scamsung's management? Just because he was sacked doesn't mean he was responsible, perhaps the fall guy.

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