LG will acquire webOS from HP to use it for its smart televisions division. But there are no plans for webOS to be integrated into any mobile devices, as LG already has a thriving mobile division with its handsets and Android smartphones.
"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 of LG Electronics Inc., as reported by CNET. The deal would give LG the rights to all of the source code for webOS, its documentation and engineers, and all of the related websites, as well as HP’s licenses for use with webOS products and all of the patents HP inherited from Palm. However, HP will hold on to the webOS cloud services division, which includes the app catalog and the backend services that interact with the operating system.
This will be the third major company webOS has fallen under. Its first company, Palm, was bought out by HP for $1.2 billion. Then HP called it quits in August 2011 by discontinuing all webOS-related operations, including the HP TouchPad. The company said back then that it would "continue to explore options to optimize the value of webOS software going forward."
The webOS team will stay put in both the Silicon Valley and San Francisco offices, and the company has said it would continue to support existing Palm users. What’s still unclear is what will happen to projects like Open webOS. While many peg webOS as a left-for-dead operating system, it lives on with enthusiasts—some of whom have even worked to port over the mobile operating system to compatible Android devices. We've reached out to HP, LG, and Open webOS for comment. We'll report back as soon as we can.