SoftBank Considering Possible Sale of Arm Holdings as Apple Gears Up for Arm-Based Macs

SoftBank, the company that owns chip designer Arm Holdings, is exploring options that include a full or partial sale or a public offering, reports The Wall Street Journal.

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SoftBank is working with Goldman Sachs Group as an advisor, and the explorations are at an early stage. The Wall Street Journal says that it's unknown how much interest there would be in Arm from financial or industry players, so there's a chance that SoftBank will ultimately do nothing.

Apple has licensed technology from Arm Holdings for its A-series chips used in iPhones since 2006, and Apple is planning to expand the use of Arm-based chips to Macs, with the upcoming launch of Macs equipped with Apple Silicon.

A potential sale would not likely impact Apple, nor is it known if Apple would be interested in a partial or full purchase of Arm Holdings.

Top Rated Comments

KPOM Avatar
49 months ago

Imagine if Apple bought Arm and then just said to rest of world "yeah, no more arm CPUs for anyone." lol
Antitrust regulators wouldn’t allow any such deal to go through unless the buyer agreed to make licenses available.
Score: 20 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Unami Avatar
49 months ago
Well, they could buy it and not renew any licenses - goodbye android.
Score: 14 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Seoras Avatar
49 months ago
If Apple was to own ARM then it would make for a more balanced relationship with Qualcomm.
Score: 14 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Onelifenofear Avatar
49 months ago
Interestingly ARM was originally a joint venture between Acorn computer ( good old BBC Model B! ) and Apple! That I never knew.

From wiki
"... Apple ('https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apple_Computer') was developing an entirely new computing platform for its Newton ('https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apple_Newton'). Various requirements had been set for the processor in terms of power consumption, cost and performance, and there was also a need for fully static operation ('https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Static_logic_(digital_logic)') in which the clock could be stopped at any time. Only the Acorn RISC Machine came close to meeting all these demands, but there were still deficiencies. The ARM did not, for example, have an integral memory management unit, as this function was being provided by the MEMC support chip and Acorn did not have the resources to develop one.[55] ('https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Acorn_Computers#cite_note-lowpowerhardware-55')

Apple and Acorn began to collaborate on developing the ARM, and it was decided that this would be best achieved by a separate company.[55] ('https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Acorn_Computers#cite_note-lowpowerhardware-55') The bulk of the Advanced Research and Development section of Acorn that had developed the ARM CPU formed the basis of ARM Ltd. ('https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ARM_Ltd.') when that company was spun off in November 1990. Acorn Group and Apple Computer Inc each had a 43% shareholding in ARM (in 1996),[56] ('https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Acorn_Computers#cite_note-jointeduventure-56') while VLSI was an investor and first ARM licensee.[57] ('https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Acorn_Computers#cite_note-57')
Score: 13 Votes (Like | Disagree)
WannaGoMac Avatar
49 months ago
Imagine if Apple bought Arm and then just said to rest of world "yeah, no more arm CPUs for anyone." lol
Score: 12 Votes (Like | Disagree)
bviktor Avatar
49 months ago
So now that Apple extends its ARM product line (=more income after licenses to SoftBank), they wanna sell ARM? That does not compute to me.
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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