Samsung’s mobile design chief says his company will produce iconic designs “one day”.The Korean firm has been accused of modelling its products on Apple’s designs, not least by Apple itself, which accused Samsung of “slavishly copying” the design of its iPhone and iPad.
Lee Minhyouk, vice president for design at Samsung Mobile, said he was offended by the accusations. He said: “As a designer, there’s an issue of dignity. [The Samsung 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.”
While Lee is proud of Samsung’s designs, he admitted in an interview with Reuters that his work does not yet match the work of Jonathan Ive, the Apple’s design guru who created the iPhone, iPod and iMac.
He told Reuters: “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.”
Samsung and Apple have developed an increasingly intense rivalry in recent years. Samsung’s Galaxy S II handset is widely regarded is the best Android handset and the strongest challenger to Apple’s iPhone. The company has supported the S II with a marketing campaign that pokes fun at Apple fans .
In October last year, Samsung announced that it had sold 30 million Galaxy S and Galaxy S II handsets worldwide. However, Apple has already outsold both handsets combined with just the iPhone 4S, which sold more than 37 million units at the end of last year.
Samsung was expected to launch the Galaxy S III next month but has said only that the new handset will launch “in the first half” of 2012. It is thought that the Galaxy S III will feature a 1.5ghz quad-core processor, 4.8-inch 1080p display, 2GB RAM and an 8-megapixel rear camera.
The new handset will also run Android 4.0, the version of the operating system that Google calls “Ice Cream Sandwich”. Samsung made ICS available for the Galaxy S II earlier this week but the actual roll-out will depend on networks. Three has already released the update for its customers, for example, but Orange users will have to wait until next month.
However, though Apple and Samsung may face off in the courtroom over products, they work together behind the scenes. Samsung makes several parts for Apple’s iPad, including the A5X processor, which is designed by Apple by manufactured by the Korean firm. The iPad display is also designed by Apple and built by Samsung.