After debuting the Galaxy S5 with incremental design changes from the prior few models, Samsung is mixing up the leadership of its mobile design team. Lee Min-hyouk, the company’s vice president for mobile design, is stepping up and replacing Chang Dong-hoon, who had been leading the team, according to a Reuters report on Thursday.
Thanks largely to its Galaxy line of handsets from 2010 through now, Samsung has become the top-selling smartphone brand in the world. Design likely isn’t the reason why, however; at least not primarily. The company has built up sales through aggressive marketing campaigns with big budgets, for example. And while Samsung has previously touted the design elements found in the Galaxy phones, you don’t have to look far for consumer criticism of it: The Galaxy line hasn’t changed much in the past three models and some prefer metal phones over Samsung’s use of plastic.
Even with the personnel change, I’m not expecting a vastly different look from Lee for the next Galaxy phones, mainly because this is an internal promotion from within Samsung: Lee had a big hand in the company’s original Galaxy design in 2010, for example.
A move from a plastic to a light metal body, however, could be just enough for Samsung to silence some critics and keep the Galaxy part of the best-selling smartphone line on the planet. Indeed in January, it was rumored that the current Galaxy S5 would arrive in with a metal body. Look for some hints of potential design changes late this year as that’s when leaks and whispers of the Galaxy S6 should begin to appear.