Samsung has crappy design — so why is it always an exemplar?

I’m reading Do You Matter? How Great Design Will Make People Love Your Company. In theme and topic, it’s *very* similar to Subject to Change, which mostly makes me grateful that we published first. We also don’t reference Apple *nearly* as much as this book does, though I guess it may be excusable, because one of its authors, Rob Brunner, worked there (though, he worked there when Jobs wasn’t there, so take that as you will).

Anyway, I’m compelled to blog because when talking about “design driven” corporations, the book cites, among others, Samsung. Now, I know that Samsung has been lauded in the design process (though not for a few years) because of how they used design to elevate their brand from an east-Asian also-ran into the next Sony. BUT, from what I can tell, Samsung’s “design-driven”-ness is all sizzle and no steak. I’ve owned two Samsung products in the time since they supposedly got design religion, and one sucked (a mobile phone) and one is mediocre (my DVD player). Am I missing something here? Are there Samsung products that are truly useful, usable, and desirable? If so, please point me to them… OR STOP USING THEM AS AN EXAMPLE.