A giant advertisement promotes Samsung's Galaxy S5 smartphone at an art hall in South Korea

Samsung replaces head of mobile design

Samsung has replaced the head of its mobile design team following criticism of the latest Galaxy smartphone.

Chang Dong-hoon offered to resign last week and will be replaced by vice president for mobile design Lee Min-hyouk, a Samsung Electronics spokeswoman said today, though the former professor will continue to lead Samsung's design centre which overseas its overall design strategy.

The Galaxy S5, which debuted globally last month, has received a lukewarm response from consumers due to its lack of hardware innovations, while its plastic case design has been panned by some critics for looking cheap and made out of a conveyor belt.

"The realignment will enable Chang to focus more on his role as head of the Design Strategy Team, the company's corporate design centre which is responsible for long-term design strategy across all of Samsung's businesses, including Mobile Communications," Samsung said in a statement.

Lee, 42, became Samsung's youngest senior executive in 2010 for his role in designing the Galaxy series, a roaring success which unseated Apple's iPhone as king of the global smartphone market.

He acquired the moniker of "Midas" for his golden touch with the Galaxy series after starting out designing cars for Samsung's failed auto joint venture with Renault in the 1990s.

Samsung now sells two times more smartphones than Apple, largely thanks to the success of Galaxy range, but the South Korean firm has also been battling patent litigation the world over, with Apple claiming Samsung copied the look and feel of the US firm's mobile products.

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