LG plans new WebOS for all of its 2015 Smart TVs

LG says the platform will be updated next year and will power all of its Internet TVs -- and possibly other devices for the home.

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LG Electronics

LG, which acquired WebOS from HP last year, says it's working on a new version of the operating system for its next-generation of Smart TVs.

LG is working on the new platform now and will unveil it sometime next year, Lee In-kyu, LG's senior vice president of TV, told The Wall Street Journal in an interview published on Thursday. All of LG's high-end Smart TVs that launch next year will come with the new WebOS installation, he said.

WebOS has taken a long and circuitous route to get to LG televisions. The operating system was first developed for Palm mobile devices and was later taken over by HP after it acquired Palm. Last year, HP agreed to license WebOS, including its underlying source code, to LG. Soon after, the companies agreed to a sale that allowed LG to own the operating system, but HP to hold on to WebOS patents.

LG has bundled WebOS version Afro into some of its current television sets, but it has only started to invest heavily in the platform. The operating system provides access to the Web, integrated apps, and a software design that distinguishes it from competing televisions from Samsung, the world's largest TV maker, and others. Earlier this month, LG announced that it has sold 1 million WebOS-based Smart TV sets.

LG didn't say what the next version of WebOS will come with, or what it'll be called.

Interestingly, Lee told the Journal it's possible WebOS will come to future smart devices for the home, though he didn't expand on the comment.

Home automation has quickly become a key component in major company's product plans. LG might have plans of its own for that space given the breadth of products it sells for the home, including refrigerators, washing machines, and more.

CNET has contacted LG for additional comment. We will update this story when we have more information.

 

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