When LG briefed us on the V20 last week, no mention was made of a European launch for obvious reasons. Like the LG V10 before it, the device is only being scheduled for a limited launch in key markets. Recent posts on Reddit have once again raised the question of a European launch, but LG has confirmed to Android Authority that there are no immediate plans to launch the phone in the region.
This shouldn’t come as any big surprise though. The V10 was a niche product targeted at a very short list of key regions, including the U.S. and Asia, where large-screened phones are popular.
As you probably remember, when Samsung decided against bringing the Galaxy Note 5 to Europe the reason boiled down to “Europeans don’t like large phones”. I wouldn’t be surprised if LG’s market research has uncovered the same preferences. (Ironically, LG trolled Samsung over that decision.)
Just to be sure, I reached out to Ken Hong, LG’s global communications director, for some feedback on whether a European launch was possible, given sufficient interest. Hong told me that “the initial launch of LG V20 will involve markets in North America, Asia, the Middle East and Africa. Whether the V20 will be offered in other regions is still undecided.”
Whether the V20 will be offered in other regions is still undecided.
So while that answer does provide a glimmer of hope for those in Europe interested in the device, ultimately the decision is not just LG’s. One can only assume that local retailers and carriers are just as aware of how well large screened phones sell in Europe.
If they are not willing to take the V20 on, then there’s little LG can do about it. But, with any luck, and if sufficient interest is shown in a European launch, carriers and retailers might come around. Sadly, there’s no telling when or even if that might happen though.
Hong’s open-ended statement matches up with a comment made by LG’s Belgian engineering manager, Jeroen Peeters to Geekster: “for now there are no plans to bring the V20 to Europe.” As you may recall, the V10 did eventually see a limited release in select European countries. So the same delayed launch might also hold true for the V20. As Hong told me: “we’re hopeful, but we’re not making any promises.”
We're hopeful, but we're not making any promises.
Of course, if you just can’t wait you can always pick up a South Korean GSM unit and use it in Europe (I’ve done this multiple times in the past with no compatibility issues, but your mileage may vary).
But a device tuned for Asian markets is not guaranteed to work perfectly in Europe. Excess battery drain, poor cellular connections and any number of other issues might crop up.
So while it will be possible to get a V20 that should work in Europe, if you really want the best experience, you might want to contact your carrier or retailer and show your interest. Considering the Galaxy Note 7-sized hole on many retailers’ shelves right now, they might just be a little more open to filling it with a V20 than they were a few weeks ago.
Would you like to see a European V20 launch? Have you ever imported a phone from Asia?