Imagination Technologies Up for Sale Following Apple Dispute

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British chip maker Imagination Technologies, which lost 70 percent of its value following a dispute with Apple, has put itself up for sale, it was reported on Thursday (via Reuters).

Apple informed Imagination in April that it plans to stop using the company's PowerVR graphics technology over the next two years as it begins using its own in-house chips for products like the iPhone and iPad. The news came as a blow to the firm whose contract with Apple accounts for half its revenue.


"Imagination Technologies announces that over the last few weeks it has received interest from a number of parties for a potential acquisition of the whole group," it said.

"The board of Imagination has therefore decided to initiate a formal sale process for the group and is engaged in preliminary discussions with potential bidders."

When Apple announced it was ending its supply deal with Imagination the British firm's shares plunged 70 percent. Imagination said at the time that it doubted Apple could go it alone without violating patents, intellectual property, and confidential information.

In May the group said it had started a "dispute resolution procedure" with the American tech giant. The company said it was also selling MIPS and Ensigma – two of its three major businesses – in an attempt to shore up cash, allowing for a renewed focus on its PowerVR graphics technology. Imagination said on Thursday that it had received proposals for both businesses.

Apple has been a licensee and stakeholder in the company since at least 2008, and became a key investor in mid-2009 after raising its stake in the firm to 10 percent. Apple was reportedly in "advanced talks" to acquire Imagination Tech late last year after the British chip maker announced job cuts.

Despite confirming the talks, Apple later decided not to make a buyout offer, and instead recruited several Imagination employees as part of its efforts to build an in-house graphics team.

Top Rated Comments

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44 months ago

Isn't that now at least two companies Apple has destroyed by removing business?

Unless joking, if companies lack the basic business skills to not make themselves wholly dependent upon a single company to thrive, or even survive, it's unreasonable to fault Apple for these companies' eventual demise.

Dealing with such large customers exclusively, while comfortable initially, brings insecurity and great risks long term.
Score: 18 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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44 months ago

I merely think it's heavy handed of them.

I understand your frustration seeing you are from the UK, but unless Apple's behavior was decidedly predatory, it's just business, and business is unforgiving of mistakes, miscalculations, or missed opportunities. Eat or be eaten.
Score: 11 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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44 months ago
Isn't that now at least two companies Apple has destroyed by removing business?
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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44 months ago
Another Apple supplier, partner, vendor drained out for heavy concentration on Apple. Hope other vendors, suppliers, strategic partners take note and hedge accordingly
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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44 months ago

Is this really a dispute with Apple? Seems like Apple gave them a couple years notice that they wouldn't be using their GPUs so they could focus on in-house designs—designs will likely benefit the machine learning they're building into their A-series chips.

Sure, this sucks for Img Tech, but that's business. I don't think Apple has any ill will toward them and still has a 15%(?) take in the company so if Img Tech can succeed then that benefits Apple.

This. Apple has no obligation to this company.. It's normal to switch suppliers or start producing your own stuff.

Most people keep buying their stuff wherever it is the cheapest too. How many local stores died because of it?
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
44 months ago
Apple wanted to buy Imagination, but it was really expensive.
Now they are cheap and Apple will buy the company and start developing "in house chips" xD
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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