Apple aims for more control, less cost as it accelerates in chip design

“Apple Inc’s decision to stop licensing graphics chips from Imagination Technologies Group Plc is the clearest example yet of the iPhone maker’s determination to take greater control of the core technologies in its products – both to guard its hefty margins and to position it for future innovations, especially in so-called augmented reality,” Stephen Nellis reports for Reuters.

“The strategy, analysts say, has already reduced Apple’s dependence on critical outside suppliers like ARM Holdings Plc, now owned by SoftBank Group Corp,” Nellis reports. “Apple once relied heavily on ARM to design the main processor for the iPhone, but it now licenses only the basic ARM architecture and designs most of the chip itself.”

“Bringing more of the design work in-house cuts complexity, people familiar with the processes say. Instead of managing one or more design teams and then a fabricator, Apple has only to manage the fabricator,” Nellis reports. “It may also help the company move faster – and save money – as it focuses on new technologies such as virtual and augmented reality. ”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Same as it ever was.

I’ve always wanted to own and control the primary technology in everything we do.Steve Jobs, October 12, 2004

• In order to build the best products, you have to own the primary technologies. Steve felt that if Apple could do that — make great products and great tools for people — they in turn would do great things. He felt strongly that this would be his contribution to the world at large. We still very much believe that. That’s still the core of this company.Apple CEO Tim Cook, March 18, 2015

Apple could look to buy Imagination Technologies after ditching the chip firm, share price plunge – April 4, 2017
Imagination Technologies’ shares collapse after Apple dumps UK chip designer – April 3, 2017
Apple nabs top talent from iPhone 7 GPU chipmaker Imagination Technologies – October 13, 2016
After failed takeover talks with Apple, Imagination Technologies sells stake to state-owned Chinese company – May 9, 2016
Apple in ‘advanced talks’ to acquire Imagination Technologies for PowerVR GPU – March 22, 2016


    1. That’s how it always goes. Once a company practically has a monopoly on a component or product, they can practically charge anything they want and get away with it. However, most companies can’t do everything and have to rely on outside parties to fill in the gaps. There’s always those problems of intellectual property, too.

      I don’t know about Qualcomm baseband processors but I’m sure it would be rather difficult for Apple to create those high-end Intel chips which have been dominant in the computer industry for so long. Sometimes it’s just better to try to get along with other companies.

Reader Feedback

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