Gripped between Apple at the high-end, and a pack of hungry Chinese players at the bottom, the Korean smartphone industry is in turmoil. Tiny Pantech narrowly avoided shutting down thanks to the intervention of a group of local investors, but even the mighty Samsung and LG are struggling to cope with the pressure. The former just moved up the launch of its fall flagship, the Galaxy Note 5, and now it looks like LG will follow suit.
According to industry sources cited by Business Korea, LG has abandoned its plan to release its “super premium phone” in October, and is now pushing hard to release the device as soon as possible. The launch of this high-end device is apparently “imminent,” said the sources.
This super premium LG phone is reportedly developed in “profound secrecy,” and details about it are very hard to come by. Our hunch was that LG was preparing a metallic iteration of the G Pro series, but according to Business Korea’s sources, the device could be an entirely new model, a G4 variant, or even the LG G5.
LG Mobile’s CEO Juno Cho first talked about the company’s plans for a device that “stands before the G series” in March, during the MWC show. Cho did not offer any details, other than that the mystery phone would launch in the second half of the year. Than the G4 launched, and while it sported an optional leather cover and solid specs, it was clearly outshone by Samsung’s metal and glass Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge duo.
Several reports have suggested that the G4 is not performing as well as LG had hoped. Add the fact that the Note 5 will land early this year and the unrelenting pressure of the Apple juggernaut, and LG’s decision to accelerate the release of its super phone seems entirely justified.
When will we see this new device? IFA, in early September, could be a good bet, especially now that the absence of a Note announcement will give it more room to shine. But that’s just speculation for now.