During a presentation at CES 2017, LG’s Chief Technologist Skott Ahn said that the company would move away from the modular design it wholeheartedly embraced last year, after the resounding failure of the LG G5 and its modular Friends to take the market by storm.
Ahn says LG is committed to its mobile division, despite its struggles, stating clearly that “Spinning off the smartphone division is not something we would consider”. This is hardly surprising; despite the market failure of the LG G5, LG’s other smartphones remain popular and sell fairly well – both the V10 and V20 have been positively reviewed by critics and consumers alike, and while they’re not exactly setting the world on fire, they’re doing rather well. Equally, LG’s mid-range is popular in many markets around the world, and jettisoning the mobile division entirely would make rather poor sense.
In 2017, Mr Ahn says that LG will release the LG G6, and it will do so “very soon”, hinting strongly at a launch in six weeks at Mobile World Congress. With this new smartphone, he says LG will respond to feedback that consumers don’t want modular phones, and will instead focus on design aesthetics and usability.
What this translates to is yet to be seen, though we understand from a previous leak that the modular system is gone entirely, replaced with a more ‘typical’ slab-type smartphone this year. It’s unclear whether the removal battery — long a standout feature of LG’s flagships — will survive the re-design.
An LG spokesperson gave us a bit of further insight into the LG G6, though not so much on the phone itself and more about when we’ll see it.
While the G6 could launch at tech conference Mobile World Congress in Barcelona that starts at the end of February, LG is still considering a couple dates for the launch, the spokesman said. The phone will initially launch in North America, Europe and South Korea, he added, and will only be available in China online. Australia wasn’t specifically mentioned, but it seems likely that, as in years past, we will be a launch market.
Although the price of the phone varies by country and carrier, LG expects the price of the phone to be similar to the price of the G5, according to the spokesman. This is good news in a sector where prices seem to jump every year.
What will become of LG’s G6? I guess we’ll know in the next month or two.