HP announced today that they have sold most of the webOS business to LG, who wants to use the operating system in their smart TV’s. Read on for details.
HP announced today that they have sold most of the webOS business to LG, who wants to use the operating system in their smart TV’s. LG will acquire the webOS source code, most of the development staff and two physical locations in the Silicon Valley, and this will augment their Silicon Valley development activity going forward. HP retains the patent portfolio acquired with Palm, licensing out the required patents for LG’s use, and will also retain the cloud aspects of the webOS team (such as the backup functionality for TouchPads and the application store), and plans to use that technology in future enterprise-facing cloud solutions going forward. HP will also continue to support legacy Palm and webOS users. Open webOS and Enyo will continue to be supported by LG. LG expects the first TV’s with webOS technology to be shown at CES in January 2014. Here is the press release:
LG Electronics Acquires webOS from HP to Enhance Smart TV
LG to License HP IP, Integrate webOS Technology into Next-Generation Devices
SEOUL, Korea, and PALO ALTO, Calif. — LG Electronics Inc. has acquired the webOS operating system technology from HP, the companies announced today.
To support its next-generation Smart TV technology, LG has entered into a definitive agreement with HP to acquire the source code, associated documentation, engineering talent and related websites associated with webOS. As part of the transaction, LG also will receive licenses under HP’s intellectual property (IP) for use with its webOS products, including patents acquired from Palm covering fundamental operating system and user interface technologies now in broad use across the industry.
Today’s announcement paves the way for continued innovation on the webOS platform and on LG’s roadmap of innovative solutions for many years to come, while allowing HP to focus its resources on strategic business opportunities such as cloud computing.
“This groundbreaking development demonstrates LG’s commitment to investing in talent and research in Silicon Valley, one of the world’s innovation hotbeds. It creates a new path for LG to offer an intuitive user experience and Internet services across a range of consumer electronics devices,” said Skott Ahn, president and chief technology officer, LG Electronics Inc. “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.”
Ahn explained that LG Electronics’ investment in webOS technology and its acquisition of the innovation team’s R&D capabilities are expected to extend LG’s leadership in bringing Internet services directly to consumer electronics devices. “Integrated with LG, this team will be the heart and soul of the new LG Silicon Valley Lab, focused on bringing innovative technology solutions to market through the most popular platforms for sharing and consuming content and experiences,” he said. With the transaction, LG will add the Sunnyvale and San Francisco sites to its global R&D locations, in addition to its existing U.S. sites in San Jose and Chicago.
Also under the agreement:
- LG will assume stewardship of the open source projects of Open WebOS and Enyo.
- HP will retain ownership of all of Palm’s cloud computing assets, including source code, talent, infrastructure and contracts.
- HP will continue to support Palm users.
“WebOS and its associated community deliver market leading platforms for the next generation of connected devices. We are constantly looking for opportunities to accelerate the delivery of this platform from the community,” said Bill Veghte, HP’s chief operating officer. “LG’s track record of innovation and broad distribution provides this opportunity, while enabling HP to accelerate our Cloud efforts. In particular, with the cloud assets that will remain with HP, we will focus on delivering innovative solutions that will enable our enterprise customers to mobilize their workforce.”
HP and LG do not expect this transaction to have a material impact on either company’s financial statements. Terms were not disclosed.
No terms were disclosed, but the deal was not expected to be material to either firm.
And so ends the HP-Palm debacle with HP now shipping Android and Windows 8 tablets, and webOS relegated to smart TV’s. From LG’s standpoint, it gives them a team of talent based in the Silicon Valley that should be able to add value to their smart TV line. HP is probably pretty happy to have sold off this underperforming business and I expect gave LG a very good deal. Let’s hope that the people involved in this deal end up in a more stable situation going forward.