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LG buys webOS from HP for use in smart TVs

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LG CES 2013 stock 1020
LG CES 2013 stock 1020

We might not be seeing new phones, but webOS is still alive in some form, at least: LG has reportedly agreed to buy the rights to the OS from HP and use it in smart TVs. According to CNET, the Korean manufacturer has acquired source code, employees, patents, and more in the deal, of which financial details are yet to be disclosed. Last year we heard that LG was working on a smart TV based on Open webOS and hoped to show it off at CES — that didn't come to pass, of course, but it turns out there was some truth to the rumors.

There was some truth to the rumors

Skott Ahn, LG's president and chief technology officer, says "It creates a new path for LG to offer an intuitive user experience and internet services across a range of consumer electronics devices." There's no indication of whether the deal will affect the Smart TV Alliance, which LG helped set up last year in an attempt to provide a unified software ecosystem for connected televisions; Toshiba and Panasonic are also members of the group.

The webOS team will reportedly set up base in LG's new Silicon Valley facilities, though CNET notes that many who worked on mobile products for HP after the webOS acquisition have already left the company. It seems that while LG has no intention to move away from Android for use in its own phones, its experience with Google TV left a lot to be desired.

Update: HP has confirmed the acquisition to The Verge and clarified that the associated Palm and WebOS patents will be licensed to LG.