2010 was LG's worst year ever. They saw a fourth quarter loss of 256.4 trillion won, compared to Q4 2009's 361.9 billion won profit. No company can survive long in that kind of free fall. There aren't many reasons to be optimistic about LG's future. So it's odd that they're now being looked to as the possible saviors of MeeGo.
Ever since Nokia fled that particular sinking ship, Intel has been on the look-out for partners. Big names they could attach to MeeGo in order to buoy confidence in the platform. Today's Reuters article makes it clear that Intel sees LG as that Big Name. Rather than a PR disaster, Nokia's flight is being played off as a positive.
"It's opening opportunities for the others to come in. Discussions are taking place. You'll see things coming out this year, pretty soon."
That's from Valtteri Halla, of MeeGo's technical steering group. And he was referencing, in part, the fact that LG has joined a 'working group' to develop a handset version of MeeGo. This doesn't mean an LG MeeGo device is anywhere production. As an LG spokesman said,
"At this point in time LG has no definitive plans to mass produce devices with MeeGo other than car infotainment systems,"
It really is hard to see just what MeeGo could possibly bring to LG. We are years away from this open-source Frankenstein's monster turning into a profitable platform. MeeGo's app ecosystem is utterly barren, its public image is non-existent and, worst of all, it is going up against three strong competing platforms that have already dealt with both of those problems.
MeeGo could still succeed, I'm not discounting the possibility entirely. But what it won't do is morph into a profitable platform with one or two limited device launches and no real app support. LG's pockets aren't as deep as they once were. And I suspect they're not willing to bet it all on something Nokia ran screaming from.