Chris Bangle to design for Samsung

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.


Although details have not been officially announced, it is said that Bangle will receive several million dollars from Samsung Electronics and will hold the rank of one of the company’s presidents.

He will have access to a corporate jet.

Till this evening I thought my compensation package was rather good.
Thanks for the reality check.


P.S.: The “irony font” is still missing arround here…

Money talks, bull**** walks.

I don’t get out of bed for less than $5 million.

its gonna be interesting ,imho, LG need Chris more than samsung

LG needs cutting edge technology, not a glorified designer.

Samsung doesn’t need Bangle, but desires a brand name designer on its roster just because it can.

I agree with this.

I liked what Bangle did at BMW. I don’t know why there were so many haters. I wonder if it had to do with Germans just not liking the idea of an American holding the reigns.

Actually, the above is my favorite Bangle design. He is explorative which I do appreciate.

I’ve really enjoyed Samsung’s stuff in the last few years. I’m looking forward to seeing what he comes up with.

I agree, Samsung seems to have taken over Sony as the leader in electronics (not named apple). In fact, just typing that makes me think where is Sony? I think the PSP phone is going to be a bust,

I’m a fan of Chris’s approach to design. He is an evangelist, and I’m excited to see how he brings this to Samsung.

I always loved this interview with him:

I am very excited by this possibility… Samsung is in dire need of breakthrough designs to move them past “acceptable” in the design field.

I’m not familiar with their phones, but in other products (camera, tvs) I think are far past acceptable and are one the leaders.


Before the iPhone and qwerty keyboard phones, Samsung’s predictive text was hands down the best on the market.

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.

I really love their display/tv stuff. I’m very curious to see what will come of this partnership.

Huh. Thanks for the correction.

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.