Apple dumped ARM’s designs in iPhone and iPad, but hardly anyone noticed

“Apple (AAPL) dumped designs from ARM Holdings (ARMH) in its iPhone 5 and its iPad 4,” Ashraf Eassa writes for Seeking Alpha. “After years of using off-the-shelf ARM-designed cores such as the Cortex A8 and the Cortex A9 in various configurations in its custom systems-on-chip, Apple finally made a clean break from designs provided by ARM Holdings with its brand new A6 and A6X systems-on-chip for the iPhone 5 and iPad 4, respectively.”

“The point is subtle, which is why there is so much confusion. The media continues to inundate the public – investor or otherwise – with the notion that ARM’s designs represent the ideal for devices such as smartphones and tablets and that they are “‘found in the iPhone and iPad,'” Eassa writes. “This is only partially true. While Apple has an instruction set license to build chips that can understand and execute the ARM commands, Apple decided to spend a considerable amount of R&D effort to design and validate its very own ARM compatible CPU core for its mobile products, ditching ARM’s own designs.”

Eassa writes, “If you own ARM, consider taking some profits off the table. The firm’s shares are seeing very rapid P/E and P/S expansion and are now trading near all-time internet bubble highs. While ARM runs a good business, it is simply far too expensive to consider buying at these levels and is, in fact, an excellent short candidate.”

Read more in the full article here.

Related articles:
iPad 4 graphics upgrade a serious horsepower increase; Apple’s A6X is one massive processing machine – November 2, 2012
Benchmarks: Apple iPad 4′s A6X beats all comers in GPU performance – November 2, 2012
Apple’s powerful A6 a unique CPU design that’s never been seen before – October 8, 2012
Analysis of Apple A6 core reveals exquisite, optimized custom layout done by hand – September 26, 2012
Apple A6 die reveals 3-core GPU – September 21, 2012
iPhone 5′s A6 SoC SunSpider performance fastest ever recorded on a smartphone – September 19, 2012
Apple’s custom A6 processor the result of years of effort, including a $500 million chip development program – September 18, 2012
A6 is Apple’s first with custom-designed CPU cores; iPhone 5 memory size and speed revealed – September 16, 2012


    1. Jobs bought Palo-Alto Semiconductor for different reason: they have unique patents on the way to divide a scheme into tens of thousands of areas, so-called “grains”, where every one has independent frequency and current control.

  1. I’m pretty sure Eassa has a short position in ARM and he is always promoting Intel. He also has an article in the last week, promoting that rumor that Apple will switch their iPads to Intel chips, if Intel fabs Apple’s A6 chips for the iPhone.

  2. I believe that Apple has more than a license agreement. I believe that they have authority to take any part of ARM and change it and keep it private. That was the big agreement. Apple gets to use everything and make changes and keep it all internal. Big deal and it means no patent suits….. ever.

    Just saying.

Reader Feedback

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.