Samsung’s Head of Design: I might not be at Ive’s level yet, but I believe I’ll get there one day

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.

  • I think samsung is on the right track.  From my short time with the Galaxy Note, they have definitely improved the design and feel of their products.  No longer is there that cheap plastic feel.  I am very interested to see what samsung does with the galaxy s3 and also if they will ever move away from android to their bada OS with the galaxy line.  

    • I agree Samsung is on the right track, but I disagree with you about the feel of the Galaxy Note. I’m currently in America right now, visiting my Mom, and her new husband just got the AT&T Note. I love the screen, but hate the materials. That’s just my personal opinion though.

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