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LG has confirmed its next big smartphone release. The LG G5 will be launched next Sunday, February 21, a day before Mobile World Congress opens to the public in Barcelona, Spain. Later that same day Samsung is expected to reveal the Galaxy S7.
A recent leak suggested that the new LG G5 would feature a larger 5.6" screen, a Snapdragon 820 SoC, a fingerprint scanner, and a dual 20MP camera on the back. The LG G4 was well received when it launched last year and made it to our list of the best smartphones you could buy, however by year's end it received a discount in order to compete with similarly equipped phones in the $400 range such as Motorola's Moto X and the newer Google Nexus phones.
By its own admission, 2015 was a "challenging year" for LG. The South Korean company revealed in its quarterly earnings that it lost $36.4 million in its mobile division for the final quarter of last year, a drop of almost $20 million compared to the same period in 2014. Additionally, LG shipped 59.7 million smartphones last year, representing a year-on-year improvement of just half a million. In an attempt to improve its profiability, the company will introduce "two new flagship models" in 2016, along with "a more cost-competitive value chain."
Like so many other smartphone manufacturers, LG faces a constant battle to shift its products in a field dominated by Samsung and Apple. The company will be hoping that its two premium models released this year will help it gain a larger share of the market.
LG has confirmed that it will unveil one of these flagship devices at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona next month. While the firm hasn't revealed what specific model will be on show, it's heavily rumored to be the LG G5, the successor to last year's well-received G4.
Little is known about the second device LG plans to launch, although it is expected to arrive in the second half of 2016. Considering that the company released the G4 and the V10 last year, there's a chance that the second new flagship could be a successor to the dual-display V10.
When LG talks about launching a cost competitive value chain, it is referring to a new lineup of low-cost mobile devices aimed at those consumers who don't want to pay premium-model prices. As more features trickle down from high-end handsets to these 'budget' smartphones, it's becoming an increasingly popular market and quite a lucrative one for the device makers.