Apple still holds the fate of Imagination Technologies one year on

“Just over a year after Apple Inc. revealed it would phase out its use of technology from Imagination Technologies Group Plc, the future of the U.K.-based designer of graphics chips is still at risk,” Giles Turner reports for Bloomberg (for what that’s worth).

“Imagination warned that if Apple doesn’t pay any royalties on its latest generation of iPhones and iPads, there may be “material uncertainty” regarding the future of the company, according to a U.K. filing published Oct. 7,” Turner reports. “Apple began moving away from Imagination last year when it began using its own graphic chips, or GPUs, in the iPhone 8 and iPhone X. That continued with the iPhone XS and Apple Watch Series 4 recently released. Apple uses Imagination GPUs in other products like the iPad and Apple TV, but is expected to eventually transition all of its iOS-based products to include its own graphics processors.”

“Imagination is continuing to lose staff to Apple, which opened a new office in 2017 just 10 miles away in St. Albans,” Turner reports. “Almost 30 engineers have swapped positions at Imagination for Apple, according to profiles on LinkedIn.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Suppliers who get all of their eggs from Apple are each in a precarious position.

Chinese government-backed fund targets Imagination Technologies for takeover – July 24, 2017
Apple escalates feud, sets up new UK office on Imagination’s doorstep – July 10, 2017
Apple fires back at Imagination Tech in contract dispute – July 7, 2017
Imagination Technologies attacks Apple’s homegrown GPU plans – July 5, 2017
Former Apple supplier Imagination Technologies puts itself up for sale – June 22, 2017
Imagination Technology starts dispute process with Apple – May 4, 2017
UBS: Imagination likely to see Apple royalties slashed, then cease altogether – April 19, 2017
It’s getting even tougher to be an Apple supplier – April 19, 2017
Without Apple, Imagination Technologies’ PowerVR has no future – April 10, 2017
Apple steps up homegrown GPU plans with London hiring spree – April 9, 2017
Why Apple’s ditching of Imagination is critical for the future of the iPhone – and maybe even the Mac – April 5, 2017
Apple aims for more control, less cost as it accelerates in chip design – April 5, 2017
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. But this doesn’t sound good from a business perspective. You want companies to do business with you and opening a place just down the road is, well, disappointing. I’m sure there’s more than one side to the story… but from one side, it doesn’t make Apple look good.

    1. It is a tough and complex situation, ME Here. Apple has often proven to be a solid partner for smaller companies for years. But Apple has also absorbed or bypassed a number of companies, large and small, over the years. No one around here seemed to feel too sorry for Qualcomm, for instance. And Apple has also weaned itself off of many Samsung components.

      Maybe Apple tried to buy Imagination? I don’t know. Maybe Apple just needed to advance its mobile graphics technology beyond the capabilities or aspirations of Imagination, so going in-house was the logical path. I do not subscribe to either extreme of viewpoints – to do whatever is most expedient to advance Apple’s objectives no matter the cost to its partners, or to preserve smaller companies even when they are not fully supporting Apple’s future product and capability objectives.

      Apple is not obligated to buy every small company that is expected to fail when Apple does not extend its supplier contracts. But it does make sense for Apple to maintain a positive relationship with smaller and developing tech businesses. A lot of technical innovations that have flowed into Apple products were initiated in startups and small companies. Apple does not want to squash those sources of innovation.

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