Illustration for article titled Samsung Has a New Smartphone Boss

J.K. Shin, Samsung’s longtime head of mobile (and the boss who oversaw the company’s rise and fall as the Android kingpin), is moving on.

Samsung’s smartphone division hasn’t had a particularly healthy last few years: while it owned the market with the Galaxy S3 and S4, the follow-up phones have failed to captivate the market, resulting in last-ditch attempts to persuade people that curved screens are the future, and an overall loss for the company year-on-year.


Shin is staying on at the company as co-CEO, but losing control of the day-to-day operations of the smartphone division. His successor is D.J. Koh, who has overseen Samsung R&D during projects like its in-house Tizen mobile OS and Samsung Pay.

It’s difficult to say what effect this will have on the products Samsung churns out in the immediate future. Koh was the R&D lead during a period when Samsung transitioned from cheap, plasticky design in the S3 to the much more premium feel of the S5 and S6. Then again, premium feel and a streamlined handset range is a market trend that certainly isn’t exclusive to Samsung.


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