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LG's G6 flagship will have no modular Friends? Not so fast

LG is reportedly dropping its system of modular 'Friends' add-ons for its next flagship handset, in a move that's sure to annoy anyone that had already invested in the eco-system. However, the company says it hasn't made any such decision.

AndroidPIT LG G5 Friend 360 Cam 5538
The 360 Cam module as seen working with an LG G5. / © ANDROIDPIT

The South Korean manufacturer introduced the modular approach just this year with its LG G5, but according to local Korean news site ETNews, the extra hassle of changing modules, not to mention the extra expense of buying them in the first place, led to disappointing sales of the G5. 

However, a spokesman for the company told AndroidPIT that no such decisions have been made and rumors of the finalized design are inaccurate, at best: 

"We've made no decision and anything contrary to this is speculative, at best. We're still looking at all the angles based on the needs and expectations of our current and potential customers."

While it's a move that, if accurate, will disappoint few people, LG dropping the approach would look to be sealing the fate of modular designs from established manufacturers. Other smaller companies, like Fairphone, will continue to pursue the modular approach, albeit with a different ultimate goal. 

After bringing just one model to market, it would be unusual to see a device maker abandon a new approach but it's not necessarily a bad thing in LG's case if it does. Before the G5, LG's flagships had been performing solidly against the competition, so knowing when to cut its losses before too much ground is lost is a smart, if difficult, move for the longer term. 

Smartphone makers are often having to weigh up the timing of the launch of a product, and what can be technically achieved with a smartphone sometimes isn't something the market's ready for yet, or wants necessarily. Attempting to differentiate itself from rivals in this way is still to be applauded, even if the execution wasn't perfect first time. 

Are you disappointed by this news? Do you think the modules were just a gimmick? Let us know in the comments below. 

3 comments

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  • chris 1 month ago Link to comment

    I love my G4 and loved my G3 and G2 before that... for me they had a unique design direction going for them.... near bezeless screen... clean edges, void of easily knocked buttons.... rear camera, power button and volume rocker in an ergonomic position, enhanced with fingerprint scanner for the V10. Great Camera with manual functions... what really needed improving... oh yeah the fact that every other OEM was following the metal design route... hey presto the G5 redesign... add-ons???? modular?? I want an attractive phone with all the add-ons already added (Mobile?? - it's in the name!).. V20 with B&O DAC built in....not added-on anyone?? the G5 dual camera set up i get, but if the metal design was suppose to improve its looks.. it failed.... I would like to say, this is obviously my opinion, but if the G5 really has not lit the industry alight, how can i be wrong??

  • I was a Samsung user till they became a apple clone and removed the replaceable battery.
    So i tried LG G4 and was going to upgrade to the G5 once G6 came out.

    As i find the G4 fantastic for pretty much everything i do with it.

    But if LG go same route as all the others then it's going to be a very very long time before I spend any more money on any phone..

  • I don't see how the G5 was a flop, everyone and I mean everyone that has seen my camplus is impressed. The extra battery it supplies is great for snapping pictures all day. The pictures the G5 takes are beautiful, they do have a problem in low light, but nothing you can't fix with the manual mode. The g5 is great in all ways possible. Best flagship phone i have had so far.

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