Apple Seeking to Boost iPhone Display Quality by Acquiring Chip Firm Renesas SP Drivers

Apple is in talks with chipmaker Renesas Electronics over the potential acquisition of a unit that creates chips for smartphone displays, reports Japanese business site Nikkei. The chips, which are already used in the iPhone's liquid crystal displays, improve both image sharpness and battery life.

iphone_5s_5c.jpg
Renesas SP Drivers, the division Apple is aiming to purchase, is a leading producer of drivers and controllers for small LCDs. The company is a joint venture between Renesas, Sharp, and Powerchip, with Apple offering 50 billion yen or $479 million for Renesas' 55 percent stake in the company. Following the transaction, Sharp is also expected to sell its 25 percent of shares in Renesas SP to Apple, while Powerchip will retain 20 percent.

Renesas SP is the world's leading producer of drivers and controllers for small and midsize LCDs, with a market share of around one-third. These chips determine a display's quality and performance as well as a phone's overall energy efficiency – they are said to account for around 10% of battery usage.

Renesas' 240 employees are expected to stay with Apple and the company is aiming to complete the transaction by the summer.

In recent years Apple has taken a greater interest in controlling its own production supplies and core technologies, signing a deal with GT Advanced that will provide it with massive quantities of sapphire and purchasing several chip firms in the past, including P.A. Semi and Passif Semiconductor.

Update 12:28 PM PT: Renesas has issued a statement on the potential acquisition, neither confirming nor denying Apple's interest.

There were media reports regarding Renesas SP Drivers, which were published in certain media.The reports were not based on announcement of Renesas and Renesas SP Drivers’ announcement and they cannot be confirmed or regarded as fact at this time.

Top Rated Comments

Lindsford Avatar
132 months ago
So the Retina thingy will be better?


I see what you did there. :D :apple:
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
pgiguere1 Avatar
132 months ago
Apple spending $479 million on a (partial) acquisition? That's a lot for them.

According to the data available on Wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_mergers_and_acquisitions_by_Apple), that would be their biggest acquisition spending ever, surpassing even NeXT in 1997 (if you don't correct for inflation, anyway).
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
quantumphysics Avatar
132 months ago
bigger screen and higher res please!
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Tankmaze Avatar
132 months ago
Yes please, that and bigger screen size :D
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
odedia Avatar
132 months ago
Improve the iPad mini display please. I bought one and returned it in 24 hours. I had to-it was sitting next to an iPad Air and results were terrible in comparison.
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Illusion986 Avatar
132 months ago
So the Retina thingy will be better?
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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