These 2 Phones Could Be the Biggest Threats to iPhone 7

The G5 is a dramatic departure from its predecessor. It offers the improvements most would expect -- a better camera, a faster processor, more RAM -- and some new features that are quickly becoming the standard among flagship Android handsets (a fingerprint scanner, USB-C). But it also offers something quite novel.

The phone's lower bezel is replaceable, and can be swapped out for a variety of different modules that expand the device's functionality. So far, LG has announced two. The first, made in partnership with acclaimed speaker specialist Bang & Olufsen, is a high-end digital audio adapter that should provide G5 owners with a better acoustic experience. The second is a grip with dedicated camera buttons and a larger battery -- ideal for those who wish to use the G5 as their primary digital camera.

Technically, the G5 isn't the first truly modular smartphone: Google unveiled a fully modular Project Ara prototype last year. But that phone never went into production, and Project Ara (the company's moonshot bet aimed at popularizing the concept) remains delayed indefinitely .

It's easy to imagine a suite of useful modules that LG could design for the G5: an e-ink display, a dedicated gaming controller, a solar charging panel, among many others. Of course, it's also possible that LG neglects the feature, and it's viewed, in retrospect, as a useless gimmick. Regardless, the G5 is perhaps the most exciting Android flagship in years. It does not have a firm release date just yet, but should arrive in the near future.

A three-horse race

In the U.S., Apple, Samsung, and LG are the most popular smartphone vendors. In the U.S., there were nearly 200 million smartphone owners in the fourth quarter last year, according to comScore . Of those, 42.9% were iPhones owners, 28.4% had Samsung devices, and 9.9% sported LG handsets.

Other firms, including Huawei and Xiaomi, provide tough competition for Apple's handset in other markets, most notably China, but the U.S. remains the second-largest smartphone market in the world, and one of the strongest for the iPhone in particular. Other handsets are likely to challenge the iPhone in 2016, but baring a radical shakeup, the Galaxy S7 and G5 could provide the most compelling competition.

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Suzanne Frey, an executive at Alphabet, is a member of The Motley Fool's board of directors. Sam Mattera has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends Alphabet (A shares), Alphabet (C shares), and Apple. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days . We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy .

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