Hewlett-Packard Development Co LP (HP) announced on February 25th that LG Corp (LG) has acquired its webOS operating system. The purchase includes source code, the webOS engineering team and licenses for patents covering fundamental operating system and user interface technologies. LG’s intention is to use webOS on its next-generation Smart TVs. Nearly 60% of new digital TVs sales in 2014 will be Internet-enabled (smart). The proliferation of internet-enabled devices has been driving consumer interest in multi-screen access to content across a wide range of device types.
For LG, webOS is a way to create a unified platform that enables interoperability and seamless access to content between smartphones, tablets, and televisions. However with Android dominating the mobile OS competitive landscape, LG will have to ensure that webOS works seamlessly on competing operating systems. The troubled history of webOS (change of ownership, flip-flop of strategic direction) will further dampened developers’ confidence on the platform, preventing a sizeable third-party apps. LG is faced with a mammoth task to juggle cost and time-to-market while offering a seamless, feature rich and fast performance platform.