It’s been a very rocky few years for Imagination Technologies.
Previously, Apple used GPUs in its iPhones and iPads that were designed by Imagination, but Apple moved to its own internal chip designs starting with the iPhone X in 2017 after Cupertion told Imagination Technologies in 2017 that it would stop using its intellectual property in new products within two years.
When Imagination Technologies, then a public company, announced the loss of Apple as its biggest customer, its stock plummeted. It has since been acquired by Canyon Bridge, a Beijing-backed private equity firm.
Then, on January 2, 2020, Imagination Technologies’ surprisingly announced a new, company-saving deal with Apple in a brief press release:
Imagination Technologies (“Imagination”) announces that it has replaced the multi-year, multi-use license agreement with Apple, first announced on February 6, 2014, with a new multi-year license agreement under which Apple has access to a wider range of Imagination’s intellectual property in exchange for license fees.
Ron Black is clearly on his guard. “All we can say about Apple is what was in the press release,” the Imagination Technologies boss recites cooly, sitting in a drafty boardroom at the company’s headquarters in Kings Langley, Hertfordshire.
Black’s cagey attitude is understandable … In April 2017, Apple said it was dropping the British company’s designs, to take the development in-house, [and] Imagination’s future looked pretty bleak. Things quickly got ugly…
Then, earlier this month, Imagination revealed it had reached a new deal with Apple… It left some scratching their heads. Why was a tie-up coming now? Had Imagination been handed a worse deal, perhaps having had to offer more concessions or take a smaller cut of royalties? Had Apple decided it just wasn’t worth developing the graphics chips in-house? “I don’t think it’s necessary to be public,” says Black firmly, when pressed about the terms of the deal. In any case, it’s hard to argue that such a partnership is not welcome news for Imagination…
MacDailyNews Take: Ron Black saves another one.