LG G5 - front, rear and removable battery

LG G6 will not have any Friends

Reports out of South Korea claim that LG plans to abandon its modular smartphone system when it introduces its 2016 flagship, the LG G6. It is a potential move that would represent a significant change in mobile strategy for the company.

The LG G5 launched earlier this year offering support for a range of add-ons called LG Friends. This meant that owners of the device were able to upgrade items like the camera and the audio system.

While some people believe that the future of smartphones will be modular, LG took a risk when it introduced its LG Friends system for the LG G5. Pioneering new technologies can lead companies to a dominant position in the market, or alternatively, it can result in products being poorly received.

In the case of the LG G5, the smartphone is widely regarded not to have been a success. For a number of reasons sales have been poor, leading to a restructuring of LG’s mobile division.

The modularity of the LG G5 lead to some quality control issues. While rival flagships were offering unibody designs, the ability to swap out parts on the LG G5 resulted in the smartphone not offering the same premium feel as handsets like the HTC 10.

LG Friends were also expensive, so investing in the South Korean company’s modular system was a relatively large financial commitment.

And the cost of the LG Friends could come back to bite LG. At the time the modular add-ons were launched, many within the Android community expressed concern that if LG was not committed to the project, then customers could end up buying expensive modules which would offer little long-term use potential/

LG has reportedly considered the negative reaction that halting support for LG Friends could bring, but has apparently decided that a new approach is necessary with the LG G6.

[via The Electronic Times]