LG G5 Had One Big Problem That Led To Poor Sales – It Was Too Innovative Rather Than Being Simple


LG G5 was the South Korean tech giant’s flagship offering unveiled a day before the MWC 2016 event kicked off. It’s hardware was top-notch and the features it offered to consumers were stellar too, so why did the flagship ended up selling so poorly? To be honest, it innovated a bit too much, and this kind of innovation is not something that the public is ready for, at least not for the moment.

LG G5 Tried A Bit Too Much With Its Luck Set On The Innovation Dial

Manufacturers have taken a gamble with their flagship offerings, with Google possibly putting all of its eggs and putting it in a single basket with its modular smartphone project named Project Ara. The idea was not terrible by any means. What PC enthusiasts do with their gaming rigs is exactly the same thing that Google envisioned for its Project Ara smartphones, and that is exactly what the LG G5 featured, to a lesser degree. However, it is the innovation that goes into making phones modular or in G5’s case, semi-modular that might not present the public with enough enticement to make the upgrade.

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On paper, a modular smartphone looks thoroughly refreshing to hear, but even Tech Crunch reported that according to Project Ara lead engineer, Rafa Camargo has admitted that one reason why upcoming modular smartphones will not feature the ability to replace components is because of the following:

“When we did our user studies, what we found is that most users don’t care about modularizing the core functions. They expect them all to be there, to always work, and to be consistent.”

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Unlike gaming computers, smartphones like the LG G5 are supposed to be your companion towards every step of the way and they are expected to work with the ‘simplicity’ factor unchanged; this means that no flashy modular components should be attached, no extra interchangeable components should be there. Instead, devices like these should be as simple as they come and they are expected to work seamlessly; take them out of the box and start using it without worrying about a boatload of modules to switch around.

Featuring a removable battery by taking it out of the slot and replacing the storage card with another is a very tedious process and consumers are just not willing to put in that much effort. Instead, the lack of simplicity that LG G5 offered must have immediately forced to rethink their purchasing decision and go for a Galaxy S7, or Galaxy S7 edge.

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On top of that, the myriad number of modules, which to be honest, are overly priced just added to that burden. If you take a look at Galaxy S7 or even a Galaxy S7 edge, its non-removable battery is somewhat a blessing in disguise and the smartphone itself is just plain simple. Everything is present in it and you don’t need interchangeable modules to extrapolate your smartphone experience.

As for the non-removable battery, think about it, even if you cannot remove the cell from the smartphone’s housing on its own, it will take a significantly long period for that battery to start losing a percentage of its overall charge before you’re actually compelled to replace the battery. What’s more is that before you actually replace the battery, you’ll probably end up replacing the phone way before that.

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What The Expensive Price Tag A Factor For The LG G5’s Poor Sales Count?

LG G5 and Galaxy S7 and S7 edge were announced at the same day, so why is it that the two smartphone models ended up selling better than the G5? In fact, when LG released the G5’s predecessors, G4 and V10, why did they sell well and not G5? It’s all about the simplicity; the public is just not ready for this level of modularity and we believe that improved versions of such phones are going to have to be introduced far later in the future for the public to start embracing. Think of it like the Type-C USB standard; you know it’s the future, and you know it’s going to replace the way you charge and transfer data across your devices, but neither the people nor majority of manufacturers are ready to accept it and that part will take time.

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Modular or semi-modular smartphones are still a great thing, and we are confident that their popularity will spike in the future, but not right now. LG, stick to what you know best and proceed to make a simple flagship that offers nothing too extraordinary to the consumer. Instead, when that customer pays between $600-$700 for flagship (other regions they end up paying more), just make them feel that they have received their money’s worth.

What factors do you believe were responsible for the poor sales performance of LG G5? Let us know your thoughts right away.