One of the bigger criticisms you can aim at the Galaxy S III is that it’s made entirely of plastic. The design itself is excellent, and you can tell Samsung has done everything in its power to create a worthy experience when others are opting for glass and metal. But it doesn’t quite feel as premium as some competitors. You’d think Samsung would rectify this when the Galaxy S IV is unveiled on March 14, and it might, we just don’t know yet.
Speaking with CNET, Executive Vice President of Samsung’s Mobile Business, Y.H. Lee, said the company opts for plastic in its phones because of manufacturability and durability, especially when dealing with high shipment volumes. So not only is a matter of aesthetics, but a choice to ensure top availability. With the Galaxy S IV one of this year’s most highly anticipated handsets, Samsung will need to manufacturer all the units it can, so it’s entirely plausible that we’ll see a plastic device. Again, that’s just speculation based off of the statements made by Lee.
Lee also argues that plastic is more durable and better absorbs impact, and allows Samsung to design removable back covers. He certainly has a point, and there’s value in being able to swap out batteries when you’re in a bind. That being said, other manufacturers, such HTC, have upped the game in terms of design, opting for aluminum on its high-end One device, so Samsung’s choice for plastic will always be questioned.
Samsung knows this. When asked about striking a balance between practical demands and more premium materials, Samsung said its next product will have a nice balance. “We listen to the market and try to accommodate,” Lee said.