One of the weirder trends that I’ve noticed at CES 2015 so far is the resurrection of three thought-to-be-dead smartphone platforms that have been brought back to life as smart TV platforms. Panasonic announced that its own smart TVs will run Mozilla’s Firefox OS, LG said that its new TVs would run on Palm’s beloved-but-defunct webOS, and Samsung showed off its first TVs running on its own Tizen platform. More →
One of the biggest surprises of CES so far is webOS, the revived platform from LG that could bring new life to the Smart TV. Of course, webOS is only a piece of the LG TV puzzle this week, and thanks to Engadget, we now have some idea of just how impractically expensive LG’s oversized Ultra HD lineup will be. LG’s room-filling 105-inch LCD TV will cost approximately $70,000, but lacks any release schedule at the moment. The 77-inch curved Ultra HD OLED TV will cost $29,999, and LG expects to ship it in the second quarter of this year. The 55-inch flat OLED TV is the first to fall under five digits, running customers $8,999, but we have previously noted, about three-quarters of LG’s Smart TVs released in 2014 will feature webOS. If you’d rather hold on to your child’s college fund, there will likely be a few reasonably priced webOS sets on sale later this year as well.
As Google gets ready to give its TV efforts a huge adrenaline shot in 2014 after its Google TV efforts flopped so spectacularly, LG has announced that it’s heading in a different direction in 2014. The South Korea-based electronics giant said last year that it would use its newly acquired webOS platform to power TVs, and it said the first such set would launch in 2014. Well, 2014 is now here and LG has no plans of breaking its promise. In fact, just the opposite: LG on Monday announced that webOS will power more than 70% of its smart TV lineup in 2014. More →
An image purportedly showing LG’s first webOS-based Smart TV has been published online by @evleaks, a source with a proven track record when it comes to leaking details or pictures about unannounced devices. The image seems to confirm an earlier report from The Wall Street Journal that claimed LG will unveil its webOS TV plans at CES 2014 in Las Vegas later this month. More →
Palm’s last mobile operating system, webOS, will find new life in LG televisions. According to a report from The Wall Street Journal, the first new webOS television will be showcased in January during the CES 2014 trade show in Las Vegas. This is an interesting move by LG. A couple of years ago, connected televisions were largely expected to run Android. But Samsung is now seen launching Tizen-powered televisions by 2015 and LG’s webOS move means that the smart TV market might become surprisingly fragmented in the coming years — particularly if Apple and Microsoft also jump in with iOS and Windows televisions. More →
HP’s acquisition of Palm was certainly one of worst buys in recent history — not the worst, of course — and now the company is trying to get something back from its $1.2 billion mistake. Bloomberg reports that HP has started removing some of the sales restrictions that it had placed on its mobile patents recently to entice more potential buyers to scoop them up. HP wouldn’t comment on Bloomberg’s report but it certainly makes sense for HP to start unloading some of its webOS-related patents since the company has no ambitions to develop its own mobile platform in the future and will instead rely on both Windows and Android for its tablets going forward.
FierceWireless had an interesting interview this week with Jon Rubinstein, the visionary CEO who almost brought Palm back from the grave. Palm’s innovative last webOS revision included many features that have later become commonplace in rival operating systems: multitasking, smooth messaging integration, a clever notification system. It’s not surprising that Rubinstein not only feels that Palm was a trailblazer but that other companies have still not yet caught up with how Palm implemented all these features a few years back. More →
LG (066570) on Monday announced that it had acquired webOS from HP for an undisclosed sum. Earlier reports noted that the two companies were in talks over a potential partnership as of last fall. Bill Veghte, executive VP for software and solutions at HP (HPQ), disclosed certain terms of the deal to AllThingsD on Tuesday. More →
Try though it might, Hewlett-Packard (HPQ) just can’t seem to kill Palm’s legacy. With Samsung (005930) dominating the Android market and Google (GOOG) getting ready to finally make serious use of its $12.5 billion Motorola buy, LG (066570) is seemingly looking to hedge its Android bet. CNET on Monday confirmed that LG has acquired the webOS source code along with “related documentation, engineering talent, and related webOS websites” from HP. The vendor reportedly only has plans to use the operating system on smart TVs, but as we’ve learned numerous times in the past, nothing is set in stone when it comes to webOS.
webOS is a lot like Peter Pan’s Tinkerbell: If enough people believe in it, it could really come back from the dead. Technology Review this week caught up with Matthew Zakutny, who “works as a project manager at a trenchless sewer repair company” during the day and who also recently founded Phoenix International Communications, a team of volunteers dedicated to fully reviving Palm’s new-defunct mobile operating system. Phoenix first got on our radar last month when we learned it was working on an Android app that would port webOS over to Android devices. But according to Technology Review, the group’s ambitions go much further. More →
Vampires, werewolves and zombies should all be envious of webOS’s resilience. Engadget reports that Phoenix International Communications, a team of volunteers and apparent webOS enthusiasts, have “managed to port [webOS] to a Samsung (005930) Nexus S device, running as an app inside Android.” The app is still pre-alpha so it’s obviously got a lot of issues that severely inhibit its usability. All the same, Android users who secretly pine for the days of the Palm Pre have something to be excited about for the future, as Engadget says the app could allow them to “seamlessly switch between webOS and Android without rebooting.” A video demonstration of webOS for Android is posted below. More →
WebOS’s transition from being HP’s (HPQ) failed mobile operating system to open source has been nothing short of strange. After HP killed webOS, consumers and developers were left wondering what kind of products it would find itself a home in. According to webOSNation, LG (06657011) is reportedly building a Smart TV with Gram (an open source webOS port) that will replace the company’s NetCast Smart TV platform.