As many of you will undoubtedly know, Apple recently unveiled and launched the iPhone SE. Essentially, it’s an iPhone 6s inside the iPhone 5’s body with a few exceptions. But it turns out an Android OEM may be planning an ‘SE’ version of its own phones. Trademarks filed by LG suggest the company has been planning a G5 SE since as long ago as December.
Korean site, Kipris, shows a searchable list of Korean trademarks. Having been pointed in that direction by PhoneArena, we found at least four separate versions of G5 SE branding applied for by LG CORP and/or LG Electronics Inc. Probably not coincidentally, two of those — specifically two versions of ‘LG G5 SE’ — were applied for eight days after Apple announced the iPhone SE on March 21st. A single G5 SE trademark was applied for on February 19th, and an earlier one is dated December 30th, 2015.
While it’s easy to jump to the conclusion that LG copied Apple, it may not actually be the case. The earliest mention of the iPhone ‘SE’ or ‘5SE’ as a rumor came on January 22nd from 9to5Mac this year meaning LG first had the name registered before the iPhone’s name was rumored the first time.
Traditionally, LG does launch smaller version of its G-series smartphones, but does so with the ‘C’ moniker. While we wouldn’t be surprised to see an Android OEM follow Apple’s naming strategy, it would be a break in tradition for LG if it did so. It hasn’t launched a smaller version of the G5 yet, but we expect the company will at some point regardless of whether they stick with ‘C’, ‘Lite’ or use ‘SE’ as its name.
The bigger question here is whether or not the OEM can create a competitive low-cost device. The smaller models in the past have been very lack lustre, to say the least, as we found out with the LG G4c last summer. If LG can bring its ‘metal build‘ to the smaller form factor, and release a product with competitive specifications at a price below $350, the LG G5c could do well. If it follows previous years’ traditions, it may as well not be put on store shelves at all.