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LG to launch new G6 flagship "in the very near future", but it's ditching the modular design

The LG G5 with its modular 'Magic Slot'

LG will be launching a new high-end Android handset soon - but it's ditching the modular approach that it tried with the G5 flagship that it launched last year.

Speaking with The Wall Street Journal, an LG spokesperson confirmed that the company is moving away from the modular approach with its next flagship, in response to feedback from customers showing their lack of interest in modular devices.

It's been almost a year since LG unveiled the G5, hailing the modularity of the device as an easy way to expand its capabilities. The 'chin' of the handset, below its display, could be completely removed, and replaced with modular 'Friends' that connected via the so-called 'Magic Slot'. Modules announced at the launch event included a 'Hi-Fi Plus' DAC component from Bang & Olufsen, and a chunky camera grip with additional battery capacity, similar to Nokia's Lumia 1020 Windows Phone.

But while this all sounded very good on paper, buyers showed little interest in the G5 and its Friends. Despite its attractive metal bodywork, some questioned the build quality of the device - particularly given the inconsistent gap between the chin and the main body of the handset. For other potential buyers, the promise of a modular hardware ecosystem was undermined by the considerable cost - and extremely limited availability - of the extra modules. As a result, the somewhat unrefined G5 was a sales flop.

LG's chief technologist Skott Ahn told the Journal that the G6 would be launching "in the very near future", but didn't reveal an exact date. The device could make its debut at Mobile World Congress in February, like its predecessor, but LG is said to be considering several options for unveiling its new flagship.

The G6 will launch first in North America, Europe, and LG's home market of South Korea, and will go on sale for around the same price as its predecessor - roughly $500 to $600 USD.

Source: The Wall Street Journal

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