Make no mistake, the Samsung Galaxy S4 is one pretty smartphone. Be that as it may, I don’t think anyone would make the argue against the fact that the inspiration behind the design of the device was clearly the already successful Samsung Galaxy S3. Naysayers will be quick to point out that, to the untrained eye, it really is hard to tell the difference between the two.
It’s been said Samsung stuck with what they knew, and because of their new found popularity, didn’t want to risk losing brand recognition by adopting an entirely new design for the S4. Fine. We get it. Apple’s been doing that for years and it worked out fine for them. But Android moves fast (maybe even too fast) and I think most of us will admit — it’s getting old.
Seems Samsung might be feeling the same way. Yesterday, Samsung called in some of their top executives to talk about their design strategy for future devices. They’re calling it Design 3.0, and if you were worried that Samsung’s next Galaxy lineup would look near-identical to its current offerings, fear not. According to The Korea Herald, Samsung bounced ideas around, talking about the current “design trend” in electronic devices today. Their takeaway? Samsung products should be immediately and easily identifiable by consumers. Samsung executive Yoon Boo-keun was further quoted as saying,
“‘Design 3.0,’ Samsung Electronics’ new design strategy, focuses not only on external beauty and technical practicality of new products, but also about creating positive values and connecting with consumers.”
What’s interesting is this comes after news that LG is planning to do the same for 2014. Meetings were also held by LG where they discussed a design language for their future electronics devices that would allow consumers to immediately recognize that it’s an LG product, no matter if it’s a smartphone, TV, or refrigerator. This, and the praise manufacturers like HTC (or even smaller companies like Oppo) have been receiving after going to great lengths in, not using more premium feeling build materials, but also in coming up with unique designs. Seems Samsung might be feeling the heat.
Of course, no matter which side of the fence you stand on (or which manufacturer you claim allegiance to), it’s like I’ve always said: competition is a good thing. Underdogs like HTC pushing smartphone design forward, will encourage other OEMs to do the same. Who knows, maybe we’ll see a Samsung Galaxy S5 with front facing speakers, and a Liquidmetal design this time next year.