As their escalating patent war rages on around the globe, Samsung appears to be ramping up its efforts to take on Apple in the public eye. The South Korean company’s latest move is a video (below) called “Galaxy S III Design Story,” which, as its name suggests, details the development of its mega-successful Galaxy S3 flagship handset.
The insight comes after closing arguments by Apple’s counsel in the duo’s California patent trial pinpointed Samsung’s elusive design process as an indication that the company copied Apple’s iPhone. While members of Apple’s design team are celebrities in their own right, thanks to highly stylised, and easily parodied, videos produced by the company, the same isn’t true for Samsung’s designers.
The so-called design story leans towards the conceptual, discussing the influences of nature on the phone’s development, both hardware- and software-wise.
“The main design concept was to reflect nature,” says vice president of mobile design Jacob Lee. “We wanted a more emotional, and stronger connection with our customers.”
That much is highlighted in the video, which offers a glimpse into such details as the curvature of the phone’s case and the deliberate development of its sound effects - “Our goal was to make [interacting with the phone] feel like a ‘stroll in the forest,’” says sound engineer Joongsam Yun.
"Samsung product designers often travel the world to look for inspiration. At the Marina Bay Sands in Singapore I was amazed at the harmony of the sky, the cityscape, and the water. I wanted to express the amazing aspect of the water that is about to overflow from the Galaxy S III's window,” says product designer Hanhil Song.
“During the trip, I also happened to witness the pebbles in a stream sparkling under the sunlight, and I spent a lot of time trying to figure out how to capture the flow of water and the reflection of the light into the design of the phone,” Song adds.
Song’s comments appear to be in line with the company’s overall design ethos, which top designer Hyong Shin Park has said was influenced by “a bowl of water” and not the iPhone. Park was barred from giving testimony during the trial in San Jose, on the grounds that her work on Samsung’s F700 phone was irrelevant to the design and development of the devices listed in Apple’s suit.
As a nine-member jury examines the overwhelming amount of evidence produced in the three-week trial, Samsung appears to be casting a forward-looking eye to its public image.
“We put in a great deal of effort and made countless prototypes to achieve this goal,” says product designer Junghyhuck Im in the video, effectively summing up the message Samsung seems to be eager to push.