WebOS isn’t dead just yet. LG is reportedly taking the troubled mobile operating system off of former owner HP’s hands, but instead of deploying it in smartphones or tablets, it plans on implementing the software into future smart TVs.
According the CNET, the deal gives LG the source code of WebOS, alongside its related engineering talent, related Web sites and documentation. No financial specifics of the agreement have been revealed just yet, but LG is also said to be getting HP’s licenses for using WebOS as well as a set of patents HP previously received from Palm, which was the operating system’s original creator.
Palm initially launched WebOS in 2009, and was widely hailed as a possible savior for the then-struggling smartphone maker in flagships like the Palm Pre. Things didn’t quite work out as planned, though, and HP wound up acquiring Palm in 2010 to the tune of $1.2 billion. HP then claimed it was “doubling down” on the platform, especially in tablets, but slates like the HP TouchPad proved to be failures, and WebOS developments quickly ended from there.
Now, with Android tablets like the just announced HP Slate 7, it appears that HP is ready to part ways with Palm’s old project for good.
LG’s mobile products are also embedded in the Android ecosystem, so it’s not surprising to hear that WebOS won’t be making a comeback on phones anytime soon. But the company has also largely supported its recent smart TVs with the Google TV platform, which has struggled but is still on track to support multiple LG televisions this year.
Rumors have swirled that LG was interested in this kind of deal for months now, so the relationship between LG and Google TV is coming to end as well.
LG has not issued a formal announcement of the deal just yet, but TechnologyGuide will update if and when any new information is given.
Update: Both LG and HP have confirmed that the deal has occurred as detailed. Speaking to AllThingsD, Dr. Skott Ahn, head of LG\’s mobile operations, confirmed that webOS will first be deployed in the company\’s smart TV platform, and then possibly in refrigerators and other household smart appliances.