LG’s smartwatch future will apparently center around webOS, according to The Wall Street Journal. Citing anonymous sources, WSJ says LG is going to look toward the beloved software as an alternative to Google’s Android Wear platform, which has become popular among OEMs like Samsung, Sony and Motorola. LG has included Android Wear in the G Watch and G Watch R, but the company seemingly sees a brighter future in the webOS ecosystem. Something could materialize as early as next year.
“We’re going to slowly try to build a software ecosystem around areas we can have more control over,” the source said.
While Android Wear is becoming an increasingly popular and powerful platform, it seems LG wants to keep its options open as it builds out its own software ambitions. LG has slowly adopted webOS in a slew of products, with some announcements coming here at CES. The Korean company is allegedly looking for other ways to use the software; webOS could pop up in your home appliances, for example.
It sounds like LG has been surprised by the positive reception of its smart TVs running webOS, encouraging the company to explore even more possibilities. Back in June 2014, LG revealed that it had shipped more than 1.1 million webOS-based televisions. Imagine connecting more webOS-based products—watches?—to LG’s TVs out there already running the software. One harmonious Internet of Things.
However, it doesn’t sound like LG is entertaining the possibility of bringing webOS to new smartphones.
“It isn’t a technology issue,” the source said. “There is a prevailing system and people are used to that, which is hard to change.”
Even with the nostalgia factor, it would be incredibly difficult to convince the legions of Android and iOS users to ditch their respective platforms. But the nascent smartwatch market is another beast entirely. There’s no clear winner just yet, giving LG the chance to step in with something of its own. We’ll how things shape up as the year goes on.