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5 reasons why the LG G7 won't be at MWC 2018

LG's next flagship won't be unveiled next week in Barcelona. Here are a few guesses as to why (one rhymes with "Gamsung Salaxy").

Sarah Tew/CNET

MWC 2018, otherwise known as the world's biggest mobile trade show, kicks off Feb. 26. Though a bunch of phones, laptops and smartwatches are expected to launch during the event, including the highly-anticipated Galaxy S9 and S9 Plus, there will be one phone that definitely won't be there: the LG G7.

Despite unveiling its flagship phone at the show in years past, like last year's G6, LG is opting to freshen up its V30 from 2017 with a new variant and roll out two other mid-tier phones at the show instead.

This leaves some, like me, wondering where oh where the G7 could be? Why is LG holding it back? Will it even be released at all? Here are a few theories.

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Schedule, schmedule: LG doesn't want to be tied down

And by "tied down" I mean being tied to the predictable ebb and flow of major phone launches. If you're not Apple in September or Google in October, you most likely have to launch at least one of your big phones in February at MWC. (Even Samsung does this most years, which I'll get to later).

But earlier this year at CES 2018, LG said it was planning to shake up its timing with new products. What better time to start than at MWC?

"We decided that it was time to try something different rather than letting one event drive so much of our strategy," wrote Ken Hong, senior director of LG's global corporate communications, in an email to CNET.

"At this point it just made more sense to come up with our own schedule rather than adhering to something that at the end of the day was outside our control."

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We get it Samsung. You're at MWC.

Sarah Tew/CNET

Samsung's going to eclipse everything at MWC anyway

LG knows what's up. Competing for the limelight at MWC is like plants competing for sunlight at the bottom of the rainforest. With all these companies going at it, someone's going to get choked out. And try as everyone might, Samsung is like some giant Galaxy-phone-bearing Kapok tree gobbling up every bit of light available. This sucks for everyone aside from Samsung, but that's the reality.

So what can you do? Hold your own event and pray to the phone gods that you're a big and sexy enough company to attract all the tech reporters, bloggers and trendy YouTubers together for one glorious day? Google did this in 2016 when it launched its very first Pixel and LG should be able pull that of too. Plus, I did hear June is a nice time of year.

LG wants you to really like the V30 instead

There's a reason why revamping the V30 isn't such a terrible idea. The V30 is a pretty great phone in its own right -- we actually like it slightly more than the G6. Introducing improvements can only make the V-series better.

The new V30 will add image recognition software called Vision AI, which will enable the camera to recognize objects like flowers and landscapes, and adjust camera settings accordingly to take the best photo. This is similar to what the Huawei Mate 10 and 10 Pro can do. The new V30 will also have additional speech recognition smarts for advanced voice commands.

Of course, we'll need to check out the phone for ourselves at MWC to see if these new AI-centric additions are actually good and useful. But we're a fan of the V30, and it makes sense to build upon what already works instead of starting from scratch.

It doesn't want to rush anything

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The modular LG G5 from 2016.

Josh Miller/CNET

What is time anyway but a social construct designed to restrict our lives and destinies? Exactly --  LG gets it. It also knows what it means to launch a product and have it flail, like the modular G5 from 2016.

After the G5's hot-swappable design received a lukewarm reception, LG switched gears and dropped the modular concept with the G6. Reflecting back on the G5 after it hit the market, its chief technology officer Skott Ahn said in Jan. 2017 that the phone "was a meaningful test," and that the company "paid a lot" in the end.

From that learning experience, I wouldn't be surprised if LG wants to take its time with the G7 (if it will even be called that) to make sure it can do things just right.

LG's waiting for a new "Like a G7" song for optimal cross promotion

This is a longshot, but if LG could pay the hip hop band Far East Movement millions of dollars just to write a new song about the G7 (plane? Phone? Both?), it should. If only so us phone reviewers can catch a break and indulge in some not-very-original-nor-clever-but-who-will-stop-me punny headline writing.

Samsung Galaxy S9 will blow away the phone field at MWC: Looking ahead to the phones we'll see in Barcelona.

MWC 2018: All of CNET's coverage from the biggest phone show of the year.