LG G2 to receive some tweaking for U.S. carriersAlex Wagner - Deputy Managing Editor, News Desk
As part of its G2 announcement earlier today, LG revealed that all four major U.S. carriers have agreed to add the new flagship smartphone to their lineups. None of the operators have had much to say about their G2 or their launch plans, promising only that they'd share more details at a later date, but one LG executive did share one small tidbit of information to PCMag that should make the carriers' announcements a bit more interesting.
At a briefing after the G2 event today, LG Electronics USA SVP of Marketing James Fishler revealed that each U.S. carrier will have its own slightly-customized G2. "Each carrier will have their own device," Fishler said, explaining that operators typically prefer to sell devices with unique features or colors. The exec wouldn't elaborate on what will make each carrier's G2 different, but he did say that LG is working to keep the G2 and its core feature set as close as possible to the international model.
Most of those G2 customizations are a mystery for now, but GigaOM noted today that one special feature of Sprint's G2 is support for a boatload of wireless frequencies. The FCC filing for the LG LS980 (whose specs line up perfectly with the G2) reveals support for Sprint CDMA as well as all three bands that Sprint plans to utilize for its LTE network (800MHz, 1900MHz and 2.5GHz). Oh, and there's GSM/EDGE/HSPA support thrown in as well, meaning that Sprint's G2 should work on GSM carriers in North America and abroad.
It's no surprise to hear that LG will be tweaking the G2 for the carriers here in the U.S. As PCMag notes, the operators are largely in control of the devices that their customers use due to things like subsidies and the ability to control which products can access their networks. That means that in most cases, if a manufacturer wants their device on a certain carrier, they'll have to meet that operator's demands. LG isn't quite big enough in the U.S. to say "no" to the carriers and still have those operators stock their new phone, so for now LG will have to continue to bend to their will.
Even if LG has to tweak its G2 for the carriers, the fact that the device will reach all four big U.S. operators will go a long way to help the G2 compete against the likes of the Galaxy S 4, One and Moto X. The original Optimus G was only available on AT&T and Sprint, and the Optimus G Pro only hit AT&T, so the G2's widespread availability is a big victory for both it and LG. Now we just have to wait and see what kind of changes that LG agreed to make to the U.S. G2 variants in order to achieve it.