Financial terms of the webOS sale weren't disclosed. It's unlikely that LG Electronics had to pay much, given that HP had already absorbed $1.6 billion in charges to account for the diminished value of Palm and other costs caused by its decision to stop making webOS devices.
HP, which is based in Palo Alto, is in the process of eliminating 29,000 jobs in an effort to cut costs amid a slump that has seen its revenue falling for the past 18 months. Through January, HP had jettisoned more than 15,000 of the jobs targeted in its streamlining.
HP is still holding on to some vestiges of its Palm acquisition. Among other things, HP retains ownership of other computing coding outside webOS, along with Palm's hardware and Palm's customer contracts. HP will also continue to employ former Palm employees who weren't involved in webOS and will continue to handle customer support for people who still use Palm products made in the past.
Besides getting webOS' source code and other key parts of the technology, LG Electronics will take over stewardship of the open-software project.
HP is jettisoning webOS just as the company is gearing up to introduce a new tablet that features a 7-inch screen and will sell for just $169. The upcoming device, called Slate 7, will run on the popular Android software made by Google Inc. It will supplement a more sophisticated and expensive tablet computer designed primarily for business users. That tablet runs on Windows 8, a recently released makeover of Microsoft's ubiquitous operating system.
HP's stock fell 13 cents to close at $19.07.