Back in January 2009, Palm stole the show at CES by showcasing its brand new and surprisingly good-looking mobile operating system called webOS. But the Palm Pre and later models failed to catch the attention of potential buyers, leaving the company in a bad shape. Troubled operating system webOS has been acquired by LG which plans to use it in its smart TVs but it will not use on its phones. The financial terms of the deal weren’t disclosed, but webOS now has a very small user base, making it less valuable. LG effectively acquired a dying yet beloved operating system.
The acquisition by LG marks the latest twist and turn in the strange history of webOS. The platform was first developed by Palm, which was then headed by ex-Apple executive Jon Rubinstein, and it powered the company’s Pre smartphone lineup before the struggling company was sold to HP for $1.2 billion in 2010.
HP acquired Palm primarily to own webOS, and used the platform for its TouchPad tablet, which debuted in 2011. But after seeing slow sales after only weeks on the market, HP decided to abandon the TouchPad and move remaining inventory with a $99 fire sale.
HP then announced last year that webOS would live on as an open source project. Rubinstein, who joined HP through its acquisition of Palm, also left the PC maker last year.