LG will start licensing its webOS platform to other companies and more than "twenty TV manufacturers from around the world have already committed to the webOS partnership".
webOS in non-LG TVs
As reported by FlatpanelsHD in January, LG will start licensing webOS to other TV makers. Today, the company officially announced its plans and provided additional details.
LG says that it has signed up over 20 TV manufacturers from around the world. The company did not provide a full list and no major partners were announced. Confirmed partners include RCA, Polaroid, Blaupunkt, Ayonz, EKO, Aiwa, Linsar and Konka. Bang & Olufsen is offering LG OLED TVs with B&O audio solutions.
- "Over twenty TV manufacturers from around the world have already committed to the webOS partnership, including brands such as RCA, Ayonz and Konka with more partners expected to join in the future," said LG.
A "powered by webOS TV" from Australian TV brand EKO
"Potential to reshape the TV business"
LG believes that webOS licensing has "the potential to reshape the TV business for both technology and content providers while significantly growing LG’s presence and prominence in the global home entertainment market".
TVs from other brands that are "powered by webOS TV" will initially be running webOS 5.0 from 2020. The company will launch webOS 6.0 with a redesigned home screen in its own TVs this year. It provided some further details on what "powered by webOS TV" will include:
- "Licensees of webOS TV receive the familiar and highly acclaimed UX design along with a rich pool of features such as voice search and control, integrated AI algorithms and easy connectivity that have earned webOS positive industry and consumer accolades. With LG webOS TV, partners also get a diversity of content options including access to global streaming service apps such as Netflix, YouTube, Amazon Prime Video and sports streaming service DAZN as well as LG Channels, the company’s free premium content streaming service. Compatible TV models also include the dedicated Magic Motion remote controller."
Partners will also have webOS's Home Dashboard
Amazon, Google, and Roku have been licensing their respective TV operating systems to partners for several years now. In late 2019, Samsung laid out plans to make its Tizen operating system available to other TV makers, although no partners have been announced as of February 2021.
Amazon, Google and Roku provide major software upgrades for FireTV, Android TV and Roku OS-based devices, whereas LG and Samsung have historically not provided software upgrades for webOS and Tizen even in their own TVs.
As for LG, the plan to open up webOS to partners can help strengthen the platform and make it more attractive to app developers. LG is also planning to expand its own 'LG Channels' app and ramp up advertising on webOS.
The first non-LG TVs with webOS will launch this year.