Nature abhors a vacuum, and so apparently do smartphone makers. With reports circulating that the Galaxy S8 may not debut until next April, LG is apparently mulling over whether to push up the launch of its next flagship, the LG G6.
Word of the earlier launch comes out of a report from Korea-based ETNews, which says that LG would release the G6 a month earlier than its usual schedule. That would put the G6 in line for a release in late February, early March — exactly the same time as the Mobile World Congress trade show in Barcelona.
LG has a perfectly understandable motivation for moving up the release date of the G6, according to the ETNews report: It wants to boost the sales of its smartphone. Last year, LG announced its modular G5 smartphone on the same day Samsung took the wraps off the Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge. But Samsung's phones arrived on the market ahead of the G5 and rode strong reviews and positive word-of-mouth to impressive sales.
LG's eagerness to move up the G6's release comes while Samsung may be taking a completely opposite tack. Last week, a report circulated that Samsung would hold off on unveiling the Galaxy S8 until April. That followed earlier reports that Samsung was pushing back the S8's launch as it looks to avoid repeating the mistakes of this fall's Note 7 launch.
Should the G6 make an earlier-than-usual debut, it's unclear exactly what direction LG might go with its new flagship. However, some initial renders posted by Android Authority provide an early glance at the phone's potential look. And that design looks a lot like the G5 going by the renders from Shai Mizrachi.
Credit: Android AuthorityThe G6 renders suggest the new phone will be the same height as the G5, while being a tenth of an inch slimmer. There's little indication of other specs, though Android Authority expects the new phone to have a screen size between 5.2 and 5.5 inches. It looks like the G6 would retain the dual-camera setup of the G5, though according to Android Authority it will be more like the approach taken by LG's V20.
What's less clear is what becomes of the G5's standout feature — its modular design that allowed users to swap out parts of the phone for other components. LG's Friends Store currently shows a handful of accessories built to go with the G5, but only a few that snap on to the phone itself.
Earlier this year, LG told Cnet that it had no plans to abandon the modular design in future phones. But another ETNews report from earlier this month contends that LG will drop the modular design from the G6 in favor of building a waterproof phone.
Whatever LG has planned, we'll find out soon enough, though likely not at next week's CES trade show, where LG has already announced it will show off midrange and budget phones.