LG is working on a half-dozen new entries for its budget-friendly K series. That's based on a stream of filings spotted by LetsGoDigital at the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO). No fewer than six devices, three in the K40 series and another in the three in the K50 series are included.
The trademark filings specifically show requests for the LG K41, K42, K43, K51, K52, and K53. Each is denoted as a smartphone as a Class 9 device. The devices follow the naming conventions already in use by LG. But that doesn't clear everything up as a matter of course. The listings also don't provide any deeper details about the devices and LG hasn't typically released such a large string of variations within a single brand of budget Android phones.
What's in the branding of the "K" series for LG?
It does make some sense to designate devices with slight variations in configuration with consistently varying model designations. That's especially true where those designations step upward as specs get better. The gradual uptick can be useful for showing that device "K41," for example, is a slightly lesser gadget than device "K42."
Historically, that's how gradual upticks in numbers associated with a smartphone have worked too.
Through improved memory, storage, cameras, or processor from handset to handset, or some combination of those, the numbers will likely be helpful to potential customers. Moreover, the use of numbers will make each improvement more clear. But LG's move won't be easier to understand as a direct consequence of the direction LG seems to be taking the gadgets.
Graduating from an LG K41 or LG K51 to a K42 or K43 and K52 orK53, won't necessarily be straightforward. The numbers could obviously denote an across-the-board step up in specs. It could also mean improvement in any combination of the above-mentioned specs.
Additionally, there's nothing that says the company must follow the example currently being set by Samsung and others in terms of naming conventions. That other South Korean tech giant has taken to consolidate all of its phones under the Galaxy "A" and "M" series. The numbers jump in increments of ten across both model designations, indicating a step upward in price and specs. LG may be following suit.
On the contrary, LG may plan its single-digit bump in an entirely different way. Speculatively, the company may also be planning to use the incrementation to push the phones forward from year-to-year. For example, LG has pushed its V-series devices previously with a five-count increase with each new release. So the LG V35 followed the LG V30 with an "S"-branded model in between.
What's really going on here?
LG's latest gadgets have abandoned the partial-stepping methodology for driving model numbers forward. The LG V40 followed the LG V35. But LG followed that with the LG V50 instead of the LG V45.
All of that just means it's going to be difficult to determine where the company is headed with its latest trademark filings. The LG K series is not a flagship-level handset by any stretch, with the current LG K40s starting at €160 — roughly $176.30 — and the K50s starting at €200 — roughly $220.
The biggest differentiators between the two devices are battery size, screen size, and cameras. It's not immediately clear what devices intended to land between the two would be in their current state. So regardless of how LG sets the K40 series apart from the K50 series, what is obvious is that the two could feasibly be more different from one another than the current iteration of the K series.