Samsung, LG compete in handset design

Samsung Electronics and LG electronics are engaging in a fierce handset design competition as the rival South Korean companies seek to gain a competitive edge in an increasingly crowded handset market.

Samsung and LG, ranked No. 2 and No. 3, respectively, in global handset shipments behind industry leader Nokia, are both planning on launching Android phones this year. Both have also committed to proprietary user interface models, with Samsung backing its TouchWiz widget platform and LG touting its 3-D S-Class UI. However, it is in the realm of handset design that the companies will truly seek to differentiate themselves from each other. 

"Our ultimate objective is to have customers be emotionally attached to our products," says Brian Ham, a senior manager in LG's mobile communications design research lab, told Forbes.

Samsung, meanwhile, wants consumers to go on an "emotional journey" with their phone. "The phone should be more like a friend than a device," Ingon Park, a manager in Samsung's mobile communication design group, told Forbes.

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