Samsung Mobile’s Vice President of Design, Lee Minhyouk, was recently profiled by Reuters, and while there’s no new information in there regarding upcoming products, it’s still a damn good interview that we recommend everyone with any interest whatsoever in the mobile should read. Here’s a few highlights: Christian Lindholm, Chief “Innovation Officer” at Fjord, explained Samsung’s current situation beautifully:
“Samsung is like a fantastic soap maker. Their products get you clean, lathers well. However, they do not know how to make perfumes, an industry where margins are significantly higher. Perfume is an experience. Perfume is meant to seduce, make you attractive and feel good. You love your perfume, but you like your soap.”
The rest of the interview just delves into what Samsung is doing to make perfume instead of soap. One example is Minhyouk’s insistence on taking his team all around the world so they can get inspired. This is incredibly bold since companies usually have different teams scour the earth to find the latest design trends, which they then condense into a PowerPoint that the design people glance at and then get to work. Minhyouck admits:
“I might not be at (Ive’s) level yet, but I believe Samsung will produce such iconic products one day. It’s not just effort that makes it possible for a new product to be a massive hit. It also has to be timely, and technology should be ready to make a certain design a reality.”
Speaking about technology, the Retuers piece points out one of Samsung’s biggest advantages. Since they also make the components that power many of Apple devices, they know better than anyone else what’s coming around the corner. The South Korean handset vendor uses prototype parts when considering designs, something that most other companies can’t.
There’s more in there, such as Minhyouk’s thoughts about Samsung being called a cloner of Apple products, which is why, again, we recommend you check out the article.
Update: For anyone who doesn’t know Ive, that’s Apple’s Head of Design.