LG Electronics has just infused life into webOS. Hewlett-Packard said that it will sell the webOS operating system to the South Korean technology giant LG Electronics for an undisclosed sum.
LG is buying Palm’s webOS from HP to support its ‘Smart TV‘ technology. Smart TVs, like smartphones are connected to the internet and allow for a more deeper and richer experience of interaction between the TV and the user. As per the deal, LG now has the source code for the webOS and all the other documentation associated with development of the now-defunct webOS. LG also gets rights to use HP licenses for any of its forthcoming webOS products. LG and rival Samsung Electronics showed off smart TV models earlier this year ahead of the International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.
HP had bought the struggling smartphone maker Palm for $1.2 billion in 2010, hoping Palm’s webOS would boost its position in the global smartphone market. This did not happen, majorly due to poor management of the OS by HP itself. Analysts had predicted that webOS was dead for good, after HP took the decision to make it open source. HP also tried to build on the webOS legacy with its Touchad tablet, but the product failed terribly.
“As we looked at it, we saw a very compelling IP that was very unique in the marketplace,” Bill Veghte, the COO of HP said, adding that HP has already had a partnership with LG on webOS before the deal was announced. “As a result of this collaboration, LG offered to acquire the webOS operating system technology,” he added.
This deal doesn’t sound surprising, with LG already looking to gain firm ground in the growing Smart TV segment. “It creates a new path for LG to offer an intuitive user experience and Internet services across a range of consumer electronics devices,” said Skott Ahn, president and chief technology officer of LG Electronics Inc. He also revealed that LG will keep the webOS team in Silicon Valley for now. The deal also announced that some of the workers of the webOS team will transferred to LG’s payroll. LG will not use webOS for its mobile phone products, since it’s firmly based in the Android camp.
The future of webOS along with LG looks interesting. LG will first incorporate the webOS technology into it’s Smart TVs, and then probably in other household devices depending upon the success of the platform. LG should keep all plans on to the table.