LG Electronics inked a deal with a South Korean government body to promote its webOS platform, to “more actively advance its philosophy of open platform, open partnership and open connectivity”.

WebOS was adopted in LG’s smart TVs in 2013 and the company said it did so “with the knowledge that webOS had tremendous potential”. The platform originated within Palm and was subsequently owned by HP through its acquisition of the smartphone pioneer, before ending up with the South Korean company.

The electronics company will work with the National IT Industry Promotion Agency (NIPA), a government group within South Korea’s Ministry of Science and ICT. LG will “solicit webOS business proposals from hundreds of start-ups recommended by NIPA”, and provide the most viable ones with logistical and technical support “with commercialisation as the ultimate goal”.

Public platform
LG developed an open source version of its platform, webOS Open Source Edition, which is available to the public. Developers can download the source code free and take advantage of related tools, guides and forums to become more familiar with the OS and “its inherent benefits as a smart devices platform”, the company said.

Because webOS is a Linux kernel-based multitasking OS with support for HTML5 and CSS3, it will be “quite familiar to even new developers”, LG said.

LG’s South Korean rival, Samsung, also has its own smart device platform, Tizen, which was used for a number of connected home products. Tizen also found its way into a small number of smartphones, although these have only been launched in a limited number of markets and were positioned as feature phone replacements due to the paucity of the supporting content ecosystem.

While webOS originates in the smartphone space, LG made no moves to push it back into that market.

“webOS has come a long way since then and is now a mature and stable platform ready to move beyond TVs to join the very exclusive group of operating systems that have been successfully commercialisation [sic] at such a mass level. As we move from an app-based environment to a web-based one, we believe the true potential of webOS has yet to be seen,” said Park Il-pyung, CTO of LG Electronics.