One of the headlining features of LG’s newest flagship, the upcoming G5, is a modular design that allows for add-ons such as a hi-fi audio DAC or an extended battery. Known as “LG and Friends”, the modules will be sold separately over time, allowing extension to the function of the phone long after release. With the LG G5 already on level to compete with the other new flagships coming out such as the Samsung Galaxy S7 and HTC 10, the modular system, if done correctly, could mean a more future-proof device. Thanks to a press release by LG, we now have an idea of how much these modules may cost.
One module for the LG G5 that most users will likely get for free with their purchase of the new handset is the spare battery. This module can also be bought on its own and is said to cost roughly $35 USD. Another well-known module, the hi-fi audio module from Bang & Olufsen, can be had for approximately $160. A module featuring an enhanced camera in concert with some spare battery power will run consumers about $85. It should be kept in mind that these prices were released by LG in Korean Won and converted roughly to USD. Additionally, although it’s likely that the prices LG put out in the press release are what’s planned, production and marketing costs may cause the final retail prices to vary a bit.
With these few initial modules confirmed and roughly priced, it’s anybody’s guess as to what else may come down the pipeline, who may develop modules and what prices may be. Judging from the prices presented so far, it seems like the $35 battery module may be the bottom line, while the $160 audio module from respected company Bang & Olufsen represents a figure quite close to the top of the spectrum. There is, of course, always the possibility of ultra-cheap or ultra-luxury players jumping into the space and producing modules well below or above what’s seen here, provided they can get LG’s blessing for such a venture. LG has announced a development kit that would allow most anybody to produce modules for the G5, but it’s quite likely that they’ll frown upon unofficial “budget” modules due to quality issues and possible damage to devices.