LG buys webOS from HP for internet TVs

LG buys webOS from HP for internet TVs

LG is to buy Hewlett-Packard’s webOS mobile operating system to use in internet-connected televisions.

However, analysts are predicting the manufacturer could develop smartphones using the OS in the future.

LG Electronics chief technology officer, Skott Ahn, said: ‘The open and transparent webOS technology offers a compelling user experience that, when combined with our own technology, will pave the way for future innovations using the latest Web technologies.

‘It creates a new path for LG to offer an intuitive user experience and Internet services across a range of consumer electronic devices.’

In a separate development, LG Mobile announced a larger-sized Optimus G Pro smartphone to compete with Samsung’s Galaxy Note II at the Mobile World Congress this week. It is also targeting the emerging markets where most smartphone growth is expected this year, with a range of cheaper L and F series smartphones.

The company said early sales of the Optimus G, a high-end smartphone launched in September, are encouraging. The manufacturer shipped 1m units before the end of last year.

Park Jong-seok, head of LG’s mobile division, said: 'The success of the Optimus G has bolstered confidence in our organisation.

'Our latest LTE-equipped smartphones are global top-class products.'

Analysts said this week that LG's move to buy webOS could see it developing webOS powered smartphones to broaden its offering.

LG is acquiring the webOS team as part of the deal and the platform is to remain open source under the terms of the sale to LG, which plans to use the software in Internet-connected televisions rather than in mobile gadgets.

Tony Cripps, devices and platforms analyst at Ovum, said: 'This comes at a time when device manufacturers are recognizing the need to differentiate through software-based innovation in user experience. 

'LG’s stated intention to use webOS in TVs makes sense for the company, which is enjoying significant momentum in this emerging device category. However, we can’t discount the possibility that LG could yet return webOS to its smartphone roots. 

'The platform’s heavily HTML5-oriented application framework is well-suited to the emerging zeitgeist for web technology in mobile devices that was further energized this week by the commercial debut of Mozilla’s Firefox OS.

'A focus on HTML5-based apps and services will allow for significant innovation at the level of the underlying user experience, with far less compromise in terms of application support than is the case with left-of-center native programming paradigms.”'

The sale price has yet to be revealed. HP acquired webOS as part of its $1.2bn purchase of Palm in 2010.

The computing giant launched a TouchPad tablet using the OS in 2011, but sales were so poor following its launch that LG discontinued the tablet after just seven weeks.

Written by Mobile Today
Mobile Today


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