Chris Bangle, known as one of the most revolutionary and innovative automobile designers in world, has agreed to cooperate with Samsung Electronics to design new mobile phones and netbooks.
Samsung Electronics recently signed the former design chief for BMW Group to help oversee major design projects, although he will not be an exclusive designer for the company, according to senior officials at Samsung.
Jonny Ive may finally have a decent competitor. Too bad though Samsung is on Android/WP7 so doesn’t have much hope in really competing in the holistic device realm.
Also to add to the previous salary discussion, this is from the same article:
Hyundai Motor was also known to be aggressively trying to recruit Bangle as its new head of design. But Bangle declined the offer.
There was speculation that Hyundai was not able to match a reported 10 billion won ($8.9 million) salary required to snag Bangle.
Kia Motors, a Hyundai Motors Group affiliate, had been able to acquire the services of Peter Schreyer, a former designer at Audi, for around 1 billion won.
R: I guess I’m referring to their mobiles. All of their Galaxy products feel cheap and plasticky (haven’t played with the Nexus S, but I assume it’s similar), and the TouchWiz visual design could use some work as well.
T9 wasn’t exclusive to Samsung. AOL owned the technology and licensed it to several handset makers. I once interviewed with the guy who invented T9, he made gazillions when he sold it to AOL and used the money to start other companies.
Consumer electronics work from the inside out, not the outside in. The design work that Ives and gang do is largely un-spectacular but invisible and permeates the product (its hard work and doesnt draw attention to itself). Jobs gives Ives the budget and heft to come up with new architectures.
I like Bangle, but I am not sure that the Samsung culture will be moved by his presence- it all depends on how much authority Bangle is given and how far he wants to gut the product experience… too many variables to predict whether or not it will be a success.