What LG's webOS Deal Means For Google TV
Yasir is a member of The Motley Fool Blog Network -- entries represent the personal opinion of the blogger and are not formally edited.
The webOS platform has been one of the most struggling tablet/smartphone platforms in the world. After HP's (NYSE: HPQ) acquisition of Palm, the entire operating system came to HP, which was later used for HP's entry into the tablets market. After disappointing sales, HP made the OS open source for developers in order to support existing webOS devices. The platform's future has always been doubtful and the tech industry still feels that webOS is dead.
LG's webOS deal and what it plans for the future
Even though webOS has struggled since its release, there might be a future for the linux-based OS after all. LG (NYSE: LPL) recently announced that it will be buying the webOS platform from HP, which will include the source code, documentation and licenses. According to reports, LG won't be using the OS for tablets or smartphones; but will use the platform for its upcoming smart TVs.
LG has been releasing TVs with its own operating system and the company has also unveiled several Android based Google (NASDAQ: GOOG) TVs. LG's president, Skott Ahn, claimed that the company will keep on satisfying the needs of its Android fans by releasing and supporting Google TVs. The new webOS platform will be used to replace LG's own operating system from its upcoming smart TVs. Even though webOS has struggled wherever it has been used, this could mark the rise of the platform once again.
What this means for Google TV?
Even though this deal shouldn't have much of an impact on Google TV, Google's entry into the TV space has been rather shaky. The Android OS is loved all around the world, but it just didn't happen in the TV space. Samsung and Google's TV partnership never really made much of an impact, Sony discontinued Google TVs and now LG has brought in a new platform for smart TVs. While 3 of the biggest TV manufacturers might have backed out from Google's platform in TVs, manufacturers like ASUS and Netgear have unveiled their own Google TV devices. Google TV never made much of an impact and it looks that Google will be settling for TV boxes and companions rather than smart TVs manufactured by some of the leading names.
Still a lot to be optimistic about with Google
Google recently hit the $800 mark and analysts are claiming that Google is the next big thing while Apple's numbers are slowly going down in 2013. Wall Street estimates have already risen to $1000 and the company has a lot to offer in the upcoming years. Even if Google TV vanishes, the company has a lot to look forward to.
The smartphones market is one of the most innovative sectors in the world and Google still dominates most of the market, around the world, with its Android OS. Android is still the fastest growing Operating System in the world with large manufacturers such as Samsung and Sony relying on Google's OS.
What Google was not expecting
The smartphones sector is huge for Google and without Samsung, Google's Android would not have been as successful. Similarly, without Google, Samsung would not have gained this much popularity in 2012. While both companies have showed significant strength together, Samsung is slowly adding something new to its portfolio in order to avoid relying solely on the Android platform.
Samsung has recently unveiled that it will start working on the Tizen OS and a new Tizen based smartphone is in the works. This can be bad news for Google as Samsung is one of the biggest names in the smartphones industry and the biggest manufacturer of Android devices.
Samsung is not the only company trying to add something more to its smartphones range. Sony recently stated that it is working with the Firefox OS and a new smartphone featuring the Firefox OS is a very likely. Firefox has gained a lot of popularity and maybe the next year will see Firefox as the next big thing.
Even if some of the biggest manufacturers do move away slightly from the Android OS and start working with other platforms as well, the Android OS will still remain a major competitor in the smartphones space. More and more small manufacturers are coming in and releasing Android smartphones and Android's future is anything but weak. Google, however, is not likely to enter into hardware as it has very little experience in designing hardware. It will rely on its partners and other manufacturers to keep on supporting the Android OS.
Aside from Android, Google has also been working on the Chrome OS which is featured in the new Chromebooks. With the Chromebooks, Google plans to compete against Microsoft in the PC and Computer space. While the Chrome OS still has a future, the Chromebooks have not impacted Microsoft's Windows OS in any way. Reports also suggest that Google has finally stepped into hardware and will be releasing a new touchscreen Chromebook later this year. Even though the PC market is constantly declining, Google's own Touchscreen Chromebooks is not such a bad idea, as it plans to reduce the gap between tablets and laptops.
LG's webOS acquisition from HP will not have much of an impact on the Google TV. The Google smart TVs might not get the popularity as many expected, however, growth in Google's TV boxes is a high possibility. In other areas, Google is still in a relatively strong position with its Android OS and the new Chrome OS for computers. Also, the new Google Glass is something to be optimistic about as the project looks set to have a huge impact on the Tech sector. While Apple continues to fall in 2013, analysts won't be surprised if Google hits the $1000 mark.
yasirrfc has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool recommends Google. The Motley Fool owns shares of Google. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. Is this post wrong? Click here. Think you can do better? Join us and write your own!