Apple working on its own graphics chips for future iPhones, cuts ties with Imagination Technologies
Shares in British chip designer Imagination Technologies plummeted by nearly 70%, after Apple said that it would stop licensing the company's technology. The news broke out today, following a statement from the UK-based firm which reads that Cupertino will be “reducing its future reliance on Imagination’s technology" as it is “working on a separate, independent graphics design in order to control its products”.
The latest developments are an absolute disaster for Imagination Technologies, as about 50% of the company's revenues come from Apple. Cupertino has been a key investor in the firm since 2008 and is also one of its largest shareholders, owning an 8.2% stake. The tech giant was even really close to buying Imagination a year ago, but ultimately opted against the move.
According to the statement, Tim Cook & Co. will stop using Imagination's products in 15 to 24 months time, which means that we might see an iPhone with an entirely Apple-designed chipset as early as 2018. However, the British GPU maker is skeptical that Cupertino can actually produce a graphics chip without infringing any of its patents or intellectual property:
This indicates that we're likely too see a huge patent dispute between the two companies in the future, provided that Apple isn't working on an entirely new graphics architecture. Regardless, the blow to Imagination Technologies looks almost terminal – the firm was worth about $956 million before the plunge, while its current valuation is less than $312.45 million.
source: Imagination Technologies via MacRumors