Galaxy S7 what? The launch of the LG G5 stole the show yesterday, with the bold, unusual, modular smartphone the toast of MWC 2016 so far. However, the South Korean firm left one major detail out at its conference: pricing. I caught up with LG’s global communications director Ken Hong to attempt to trick him into revealing the numbers.
My slimy side (okay, I’m all slime) was disappointed to find out that the people in the know are actually yet to settle on final figures. According to Hong, the plan was always to gauge interest in the handset at the show, and to base prices on how well it went down. Unfortunately for prospective buyers, the G5 has gone down a bloody treat.
Hong, barely even trying to hide his glee at the overwhelmingly positive reaction to the launch, tells me he can “safely say the LG G5 will be more expensive” than the G4, but “not dramatically so”. Last year’s top dog hit the shelves for around £500, making it one of the more affordable flagships on the market at the time, and it would be a shame to see LG adopt a Samsung- or Apple-style pricing model. Hong, however, is adamant that this won’t be the case.
“You have to meet expectations," he says. "Sometimes that means going lower or less than what you wanted. You don’t want to totally abandon the old formula. You want to show customers that you care about them and their expectations.
“I don’t think the pricing will be so different that it will shock people, but at the same time it’s reasonable to say that it’s a significantly different phone.”
The fact that it’s clad in metal obviously has a hand in things, but LG’s also in a unique position, in that no other smartphone on the market is anything like the G5. With the Samsung Galaxy S7 set to land at £579 SIM-free, there's little stopping LG from going even higher. After all, modules are so hot right now.