LG Electronics has acquired the webOS mobile operating system from HP, the companies announced yesterday.
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.
This 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 CTO of LG. "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 US 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, COO of HP. "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.