Mar 23rd, 2012

When leaked images of Samsung’s upcoming Galaxy S III surfaced these past few days, the general consensus from Android fans across the globe was that of disbelief. But not because the design was so original, so beautiful — quite the opposite really. Design-wise, the supposed “leaked Samsung Galaxy S III” looked stale, old and uninspired. This lead many to dismiss the device as nothing more than a Galaxy S II variant.

Samsung’s design team doesn’t exactly have the best track record for introducing devices with bold, unconventional design. In fact, they tend to fall more into the “me too” category, introducing devices that look more like what Apple’s design team came up with back in ’09.

In an interview with Reuters, Lee Minhyouk, Samsung Mobile’s vice president for design, gives us some insight on where the company is headed in the future, as we fast approach the release of the year’s most sought after smartphone, the Galaxy S III.

Known as “Midas” around the office (for the successful Galaxy S line), when it comes to previous designs copying that of Apple’s iPhone, Lee takes those accusations a little more personal. He says,

“I’ve made thousands of sketches and hundreds of prototype products (for the Galaxy). Does that mean I was putting on a mock show for so long, pretending to be designing? As a designer, there’s an issue of dignity. (The Galaxy) is original from the beginning, and I’m the one who made it. It’s a totally different product with a different design language and different technology infused.”

Lee, admits he’s still no match for Apple’s design lead, Jonathan Ive, but hopes this will change in the future.

“I’m confident that one day Samsung will make a product that defines our time, and I hope it’s one of mine.”

Samsung’s Chief Executive Choi Gee-sung was quoted at this year’s CES as saying the reason the manufacturer chose not to unveil their Galaxy S III was for fear of rivals copying their design. Is this reason alone I’m hesitant to believe those leaked images of the Galaxy S III from the past few days couldn’t possibly be the Galaxy S III. Let’s be real — no OEM, in their right mind, would want to copy that thing.

Could the Samsung Galaxy S III really usher in this new design philosophy from a company that so often plays it safe? Let’s hope Lee and team can pull a magic rabbit out of their hat once the Samsung Galaxy S III is finally unveiled later this year.


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