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Circuit Breaker

LG is reportedly abandoning its modular phone strategy after one try

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Amelia Krales

Modular phones aren't winning. Korea's Electronic Times reported today that LG will go back to a regular, integrated design for its upcoming G6 phone after a failed experiment with modularity.

LG seemed to have big plans for its G5 phone, with a nice collection of modules out of the gate and the promise of an ecosystem. We liked some things about the phone, but also found a lot of compromises thanks to the modular design. In June we learned that the phone wasn't doing very well, partly due to the complication of building it... and due to the fact that nobody really wants a modular phone. Then in September Google cancelled Project Ara, so that modular dream is dead. Now that LG has given up on the G5, the (actually good) Moto Z now owns this not-the-greatest-idea-in-the-first-place market.

Electronic Times' story is based on industry sources, who claim LG realized that people don't like the complexity of swapping components, or the cost of those extra components. Instead ET reports LG will be "applying demands from its customers and markets rather than being buried in creating innovations."

Creating innovations is all fun and games until someone gets buried!