If you follow the South Korean media at all you’ll know they have an approach to news that’s similar to Samsung’s old product portfolio strategy: if you throw enough spaghetti at the wall some of it is bound to stick. But that’s not to say they’re not always onto something. Take the recent claim that both the LG V30 and LG G7 will see accelerated launches.
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Citing a report from Aju Business Daily, The Investor states the LG V30 will debut in August and the G7 will arrive in January 2018. While some parts of the story are clearly misguided – according to The Investor LG only just started R&D for the LG G7 last month – some parts are more or less feasible. So let’s take a closer look at the claims.
An early concept render for the LG V30 – don’t expect the final design to look like this though.
LG V30 in August
First up, the LG V30 launching in August. At first glance this would seem foolish: to launch a new phone in advance of one of the biggest tech shows of the year (IFA in Berlin). Samsung can get away with it because Samsung is Samsung, but other OEMs wisely prefer to take advantage of the condensed media attention a trade show provides. But if you consider that LG has a penchant for announcing new devices a few days in advance of big shows, then the claim has a little more credibility.
Then there’s the fact that the press days for IFA, when most major press conferences are held, will this year occur on the last two days of August (IFA officially starts on September 1). That said, an LG V30 announcement then seems much more likely, if the device is to actually be unveiled at the show, with a release date some time afterward. Previous V series devices have not been announced at IFA, presumably because they haven’t seen European releases, but this year could be different if all of this is anything more than coincidence.
A recent LG patent some think represents the upcoming LG G7 design.
LG G7 in January
Then there’s the LG G7 launching in January. This would put the announcement during CES, but as many of you know, CES is more about refrigerators and TVs than it is about mobile. Launching a new flagship during MWC in Barcelona makes a lot more sense. But if we consider the missed opportunity LG suffered this year when it failed to get the G6 out fast enough to truly capitalize on its pre-Galaxy S8 release, bringing things forward several more weeks makes a lot of financial sense.
History also supports this theory. Successive G series phones have always appeared slightly earlier than their predecessors: the G2 arrived in mid-September 2013; the G3 in late May 2014; the G4 in late April 2015; G5 in mid-April 2016 and G6 in early March this year. Following that logic, a January 2018 announcement and February launch for the LG G7 is totally possible.
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The question will ultimately come down to whether or not LG is ready to go by that time. It obviously takes more than half a year to develop a phone (for example, LG had been working on the modular idea for the G5 for three years), but there’s no telling how far along things are now or will be by January. The report even quotes an LG rep saying “Nothing has been decided on the launch schedule of the upcoming phones”.
While it might seem logical to launch the G7 at CES to get a better head start on the Galaxy S9, that advantage will be largely lost if LG can’t get the G7 on shelves faster than it got the G6 out. An MWC launch would provide more preparation time, more mobile media attention and, if LG can get the phone out sooner rather than later, still lure plenty of customers in well before the Galaxy S9 becomes a real possibility.
When do you think we’ll see the LG V30 and G7? What’s on your wishlist?