LG Buys Dormant WebOS

Feb 25, 2013

LG takes a chance on HP's white elephant mobile OS.

Korean electronics vendor LG has agreed to purchase WebOS code, technology, and patents from HP. The WebOS smartphone operating system was originally developed by Palm and became the property of HP when HP acquired Palm in 2010. Like many of HP's recent plans, their effort to cultivate an independent mobile OS system crashed on the rocks soon afterwards, with the announcement a year later that work on WebOS would cease. The code, and a fraction of the previous WebOS developers, have remained on HP's balance sheet ever since while the company looked for a means to salvage some value from the ill-fated Palm purchase, which reportedly cost around US$1.2 Billion.

Buying WebOS seems a curious choice for LG, a company that is heavily invested in the Android smartphone option. Interestingly enough, insiders report that LG doesn't intend to use WebOS for smartphones but will, instead, use it for a new class of space-age smart TVs. The company has pledged to keep WebOS open source, and they plan to hire the remnants of the WebOS development team.

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