LG resurrects webOS for TVs, might stop making PCs

LG is bringing back HP and Palm's webOS operating system for its smart TVs, and withdrawing from the PC market.

Joe Svetlik Reporter
Joe has been writing about consumer tech for nearly seven years now, but his liking for all things shiny goes back to the Gameboy he received aged eight (and that he still plays on at family gatherings, much to the annoyance of his parents). His pride and joy is an Infocus projector, whose 80-inch picture elevates movie nights to a whole new level.
Joe Svetlik
2 min read

Remember webOS? I can't blame you if you don't. It was a smart phone operating system originally developed by Palm, and which ran on its devices including the Palm Pre, Pre 2 and Pre 3, the Palm Pixi, and the Palm Pre Plus. HP acquired it when it bought Palm, and used it on its HP TouchPad. Then HP announced it wasn't going to release any other devices using the OS, which left it rather dead in the water.

LG bought it, and hinted it might use it for smart TVs, and now it looks like that time has come. Notorious tipster @evleaks has acquired this leaked image of an LG TV running webOS, while The Verge has some early photos of the LG stand at CES, which is festooned with webOS branding.

It's not exactly the same OS we saw on Palm and HP's devices, but it does have some similarities. The Cards interface, for example, in which apps show up as cards, is present and correct, though in a slightly different guise. Just like on HP and Palm's devices, it shows a thumbnail preview of any apps or shows that are currently running. Handy.

It looks like it has all the usual smart TV bells and whistles, including YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, and Skype, as well as LG's SmartShare service and a Web browser. Expect to see it officially unveiled at CES next week.

LG is also planning on scaling down its manufacturing of PCs to focus on tablets, smart phones, and hybrid PCs, according to the Korea Times. This is because of dwindling sales. It's mulling over stopping making PCs altogether, though the chance is low that it'll do so straight away, the paper reports. Again, expect to hear more at CES.

Would you buy a telly running webOS? Are smart TVs the future? Or will they never take off? Let me know in the comments, or on our Facebook page.