So long, webOS, again: LG buys it from HP for its TV division

Daniel Bader

February 25, 2013 10:20am

With news that HP would be moving its future smartphone and tablets to Android — and releasing its first Android tablet, the $169 Slate 7 — it’s not surprising to learn that the company has offloaded its webOS division. What is surprising is that the buyer is Korean-based LG, and that it plans to use the mobile operating system in its toasters refrigerators washing machines televisions.

According to a story by CNET, which has now been taken down, LG has acquired the intellectual property, patents and employees involved with webOS, which likely means it now controls the fate of Open webOS, too. Financial details have not been disclosed, but considering the push LG is making against Samsung and Sony in the highly-competitive television space, this could give them the edge it needs.

But it’s curious why the company hasn’t attempted to adapt Android for its smart TV interface like it’s done on its refrigerators, washing machines and other household appliances. webOS has always been quite gesture-friendly, which would likely allow LG to do some interesting things like Kinect-like air gestures, but that’s all speculation. The company also likely paid comparatively little for the property, which HP itself bought for $1.2 billion (through its Palm acquisition, natch) in 2010.

We’ll bring you more when we learn it. Strange days, friends. Strange days, indeed.

Source: CNET (cached)

  • nik

    webos is a w***e. this thing gets around! but seriously you fked up. I would never buy that crap. just use android.

    • pimp

      this shows how weak BB10 is – why license BB10 when you can use WebOS – after all, BB10 is a direct copy of WebOS.


    • James

      Sorry pimp, BB10 is based on QNX

  • WP74Life

    I really liked my palm Pré.
    but, there is a better, fluid, well-built, without competition OS out there, WP.
    Too late webOS.
    “Once you go WP, you can’t go back”

    • aliwhatsit

      I went WP and went back.

  • superfly

    Giving 1.2 billion dollars to me would be a better turn on investment than paying that amount to acquire webOS

  • collin

    A fridge is the only thing webos is suited for.. Go get a real is android ftw

  • EvanK

    I still use webOS occasionally, I have an HP Veer and a TouchPad. It’s still an excellent OS, and IMO still above the competition for certain things like multitasking or overall intuitiveness with its gestures. However, in most areas it’s been bested by the competition and has quite a bit of catching up to do. I think that it could be an excellent OS again if the work is put into it, but the work necessary isn’t small by any means. Best of luck, webOS!

  • jellmoo

    I truly bemoan the fact that neither Palm nor HP had a clue when it came to hardware. WebOS remains my favourite mobile OS, as it was clean, intuitive and an joy to use. If they had put together compelling hardware (instead of multiple iterations of the same bloody thing that nobody really wanted) it might have stood a chance.

  • Kid.Canada

    This is great. I’ve always been a fan of LGs TVs and bluray players and I’m eager to see what they do with Web OS and their smart TV UI. This is where they can take the lead here in terms of UI design. Either way I’m looking forward to see what they come with here.

  • Nideiki

    The first time I used WebOS was last year when I bought a Pre 2. I was amazed by it to a point I went and bought a pre 3 then HP touchpad. I was completely hooked to this beautiful and intuitive OS.Then, I had to use whatsapp and I went back to Android. I sold my pre 2 and pre 3 (it was not easy) but could not stay away of WebOS so 2 weeks ago I bought a pre 2 and now I have mojoWhatsup on it that works great. However, HP, that damn company, choose to kill WebOS and I think the best OS now lost the war and will never resurrect…Unless….

  • Nideiki

    BTW, this is an info that few knows about LG. They never sell LG parts to a third party. If you want to repair any LG product you will have to go to a certified LG repair shop. I only knew this a month ago from a friend of mine who owns a repair shop. All my electronics at home are LG, even the Nexus 4 (BT and Wifi do not work together!), if I knew I would not buy any LG. Let us hope they do not put Open WebOS into the same cell situation!

  • MattyMattMatt

    Does that mean they can get working DLNA support going?