The LG G6 might be doomed from the start with competitors such as Samsung’s new Galaxy S8 due out around the same time. While neither phone has been unveiled yet, a rumor this morning suggests that Samsung has the lock on all of Qualcomm’s new Snapdragon 835 chips, which means LG has to use Qualcomm’s slightly older Snapdragon 821 chip.
This is a big deal.
I think one could easily make the argument that most folks who pick up two phones with different but very similar processors, say the Snapdragon 820 versus the Snapdragon 821, aren’t going to be able to tell the difference. Those of us who are testing smartphones all day and every day might have a small leg-up in discerning the difference without a benchmark, but sometimes it really just comes down to how efficient the Android skin on a given smartphone is.
LG’s relatively safe in that case, but that’s not what worries me.
Instead, LG is going to face an uphill battle from enthusiasts who are going to say the Galaxy S8 is the better phone simply because it packs a newer processor. This might be a fair argument, again I’m going to have to wait to test the two phones side-by-side, but it’s only going to tell part of the story.
That message is going to trickle from blog to blog, to carrier stores, from family member to friend, until folks are told they should just avoid the LG and pick up a Samsung instead. “The LG has an older processor,” we might hear one enthusiast say. “Just buy the Galaxy S8 it has a newer chip,” a salesperson might add at a carrier store.
I’ve seen these things happen time and time again.
In fact, when LG finally launched the LG V20 following the Galaxy Note 7 recall, I strongly thought about picking one up. Most carriers just wanted to push a different Samsung phone, however, as if to suggest the LG V20 wasn’t a fantastic device. It is, but it was also one of the most underrated phones of last year, completely sliding under the radar. That wasn’t LG’s only problem, it also delayed pushing the V20 to stores right when it would have been the perfect option for consumers turning in a Galaxy Note 7.
LG needs to go big with the G6
LG’s marketing department better start preparing materials early to convince consumers that the G6 will be a worthwhile consideration compared to the Galaxy S8. Right now, it sounds as if the LG G6 might hit the market earlier than the Galaxy S8, which will no longer make its debut at the end of Mobile World Congress.
In the past, LG has muddied some of its launches by announcing a device too soon and then launching it well after the hype has died down. If LG wants the G6 to be a success, it should announce and kick it out the door immediately. Otherwise, the Galaxy S8 is going to eat its breakfast.
LG might have a kick-ass phone coming down the pipeline, but it’s not going to mean much if it makes some of the same mistakes it has in the past or doesn’t prepare for the Snapdragon comparison battles. If it doesn’t prepare now, LG’s G6 is dead on arrival.