Konka and Blaupunkt to use LG's webOS platform

Mike Wheatley

LG Electronics is trying to generate more revenue by licensing its webOS TV platform, and said it will start appearing on other company’s TVs this year.


The move is in line with LG’s plans to bring webOS to additional platforms besides televisions, such as projectors, car dashboards and possibly even refrigerators. The company had released an open-source version of webOS more than two years ago.

LG told FlatPanels HD that buyers will see webOS in other TV brands this year, with its first partners including Blaupunkt and Konka. The webOS platform, which was updated to version 6.0 earlier this month, is a functional and easy to use interface that provides quick access to services such as Netflix, Disney+, HBO and YouTube, as well as voice commands. But it remains to be seen if the webOS used on other TV platforms will be an exact copy of the webOS used on LG televisions, or if those manufacturers customize the platform.

Konka said it will use webOS on its new 4K resolution H2 and U4 range of LCD TVs that will go on sale in the U.S. later this year. Its other models will continue with the Android TV platform. Blaupunkt said its BP range of 4K LCD TVs will use webOS 5.0, which is an older version of the platform.

The move makes sense for LG because the TV operating system has become a big business. It’s also fiercely contested, with companies like Amazon, Google and Roku all fighting it out to get their respective platforms on other companies’ TVs. In 2019, Samsung said that it’s planning to make its Tizen OS available to other TV brands, though it hasn’t yet announced any partners.

LG and Samsung may both struggle to attract bigger name TV brands to their respective operating systems though, as companies such as Sony, Philips, Hisense and TCL already work with Google, Roku, or both.

One big problem they might have in selling their respective OS’s is the lack of regular updates. Whereas Amazon, Google and Roku provide updates to FireTV, Android TV and Roku OS on a regular basis, LG and Samsung rarely do the same for their own platforms. For example, LG didn’t mention anything about bringing the latest version of webOS to its older TVs during its launch earlier this month.