ARM needed Softbank, Softbank wanted ARM

“I think this deal is a good thing, and Softbank should profit handsomely in the long run by it,” Charlie Demerjian writes for SemiAccurate. “It will also be good for the ARM investors and more importantly their partners, the latter being the key to the deal succeeding. Softbank has the size and clout to do things that ARM just couldn’t muster, ubiquitous in computing as they are. This added financial heft will benefit ARM in the short and mid-term.”

In the past, “SemiAccurate laughed at the semi/device takeover rumors. If any company in either category bought ARM, the other 99+% of their licensees would immediately bail out,” Demerjian writes. “Neither category of businesses could take over ARM without the entire ecosystem falling apart in very short order.”

“A takeover would mean that every licensee would move to a different standard ASAP. It may not currently exist, may take time to herd the proverbial cats, and may have several failures before the real path is discovered, but it will happen,” Demerjian writes. “If you think this is impossible, just look at the lock on computing that Microsoft had the day before they announced that they entered the hardware business with Surface. Look at the number of their ‘valued partners‘ who were daring to mention Android or Chromebooks that day. The very next day Wintel ended.”

Much more in the full article – recommendedhere.

MacDailyNews Take: Demerjian is correct. If the wrong company bought ARM (Apple or Samsung, for example), the rest of the world would begin working on an alternative solution posthaste and ARM would have a dim future. This deal looks good for everyone, if Softbank invests while being relatively hands off, letting ARM continue to do its thing.

Apple, ARM Holdings, and skating to where the puck will be – July 19, 2016
Post-Brexit, predators go hunting British corporate prey – July 18, 2016
ARM says did not consult with Apple, other customers before Softbank deal – July 18, 2016
ARM sold for bargain price, thanks to Brexit – July 18, 2016
Japan’s Softbank just became one of Apple’s most important suppliers – July 18, 2016
Softbank to acquire Apple chip designing partner ARM for $32 billion – July 18, 2016


  1. Exactly. First, Apple attempting to buy ARM probably would have invited the attention of regulators, and the sale may not have been approved anyway.

    It was always ridiculous to say that Apple should buy ARM, given their relationships with other companies that compete against Apple. And Apple didn’t need to buy ARM; what possible benefit to Apple? They already license the necessary tech.

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