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LG Acquires WebOS From HP

Tue, 02/26/2013 - 10:30am
Ben Munson

LG has plans for HP’s troubled mobile platform, WebOS.

The Korean electronics company just acquired HP’s now defunct mobile operating system and plans to implement the platform in connected home appliances. With the deal, LG gets the source code and an HP team of engineers who work with WebOS, as well as patents HP acquired when it bought the operating system from Palm.

HP had originally planned to use WebOS in mobile devices, which the company launched in 2011. Following disastrous sales, HP elected to the make the operating system open-source in hopes that another OEM might have success with it.

Instead of going the open-source route, LG preferred to acquire WebOS and the team working on it, which it referred to as the “heart and soul” of its new lab in Silicon Valley.

HP will retain ownership of Palm’s cloud computing assets and will continue to support Palm users.

The financial terms of the deal haven’t been made public yet.

Hewlett-Packard announced a discontinuation of all webOS-based devices back in August of 2011, which was right about the time the company outlined plans to purchase Autonomy. At the time, then CEO Leo Apotheker cited disappointing sales of the company’s first tablet, the WebOS-based TouchPad, as part of the reason for phasing out the mobile platform. 

HP’s stock fell yesterday when news of the deal broke but as of 9:26 a.m. CT, it has risen $0.05.

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