Apple to buy chip maker ARM?

Categories: Gadgets News   Tags: , , , ,

Apple announced huge earnings and a massive pot of cash earlier this week. Now rumours are racing round the City that Apple is planning to spend some of its cash on ARM Holdings, the firm behind most of the world’s mobile processors including the chips inside the iPhone and iPod Touch.

A report in the Evening Standard, points only to City gossip but ARM Holding share prices have shot up since the whispers began.

ARM doesn’t make chips itself but licenses its technology to firms including Nokia, Sony, Samsung and HTC. Its architecture is also reportedly used in the Apple A4 chip which is nestled within the iPad.

We reported earlier this week that Apple could be planning to use the A4 chip in the iPhone 4G and nabbing ARM would add extra weight to that plan.

Apple acquired its own chipmaker, PA Semi, in 2008 and that led to the iPad A4 chip. However, members of the PA Semi team have since left to form their own company, Agnilux. That’s since been snapped up by…Google.

Acquiring ARM could be another step in the Apple’s war on Google but it would also make things tricky for lots of other rivals who currently licence ARM technology. The Nintendo DS, Sony PSP and Sony PS3 all license elements from ARM.

If Apple does try to acquire ARM, it’s likely to be challenged on competition grounds. It’s also worth pointing out that Apple was part of the joint venture that formed ARM in the first place. It sold millions of ARM shares in the late 1990s and early 2000s.

Due TBC | £TBC | Apple (via Evening Standard)

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