LG always seemed like a strange buyer for WebOS, the slick mobile OS originally developed by Palm, but there’s a chance it could finally be the company to make WebOS succeed.
After announcing earlier this year that it intended to put WebOS in its future smart televisions, LG is apparently gearing up to show off its first WebOS TV next week at the International CES in Las Vegas, reports the Wall Street Journal.
LG bought WebOS from HP earlier this year after HP struggled to deliver a successful WebOS device. It was first developed by Palm as a direct iPhone competitor, but a delayed initial release and limited apps led to dismal adoption rates. HP eventually bought Palm but stumbled with its own attempts to keep Palm’s Pre smartphone line alive and release its own tablet (the ill-fated TouchPad).
Details are slim, but a source tells the WSJ that the TVs will keep WebOS’s “Card” interface, which allowed you to easily multitask between multiple applications (something that Apple’s iOS7 was clearly inspired by). And while LG said earlier this year that it didn’t plan to bring WebOS to other devices, the WSJ’s source says that may still be a possibility.
Over time, WebOS will likely replace LG’s own customer smart TV software. The company is also dabbling in Google TV, although even Google itself doesn’t seem to have much faith in that platform anymore. Samsung has also developed a custom OS for its smart TVs, and it’s working together with Intel to develop a new Tizen OS for its TVs and mobile gadgets.