SoftBank May Be Selling Arm, But Apple Isn't Interested

SoftBank, the company that owns chip designer Arm Holdings, is exploring options that could include a full or partial sale of Arm, according to rumors, but Apple isn't interested in purchasing the company.

applesilicon
In a report on Nvidia's possible interest in Arm, Bloomberg says that SoftBank approached Apple to see if Apple might want to buy Arm. The two companies reportedly had preliminary discussions, but Apple does not plan to pursue a bid because of Arm's licensing requirements and possible regulatory concerns.

The two firms had preliminary discussions, but Apple isn't planning to pursue a bid. That's because Arm's licensing operation would fit poorly with Apple's hardware and software business model. There may also be regulatory concerns about Apple owning a key licensee that supplies so many rivals. An Apple spokesman declined to comment.

Apple licenses Arm technology for the A-series chips in its iPhones and iPads, and is also planning to use Arm chips in future Macs, with a transition starting later this year.

According to Bloomberg, Nvidia has approached SoftBank to discuss a potential deal for Arm, but other bidders could potentially emerge. SoftBank is also considering a public stock listing as an alternative to a private sale.

A potential sale to Nvidia or another company would not likely have a major impact on Apple or Apple's licensing of Arm technology because of the regulatory oversight and requirements that would accompany such a deal.

Companies that use Arm technology at the current time also would not be in favor of a deal that does not include assurances that Arm's instruction set will continue to be available for equal licensing opportunities.

Top Rated Comments

JulienBerthelot Avatar
15 months ago
If I were Intel, man would I buy that company... Saves them from becoming (maybe, who knows) irrelevant.
Score: 25 Votes (Like | Disagree)
JPack Avatar
15 months ago

What stops another company from buying ARM and then quadrupling (or more) the licensing fees? What alternatives would Apple have at that point?
1. ARM offers perpetual licensing for their ISA.

2. Apple uses ARMv8-A ISA (see #1). But they do not license processor core designs. Apple designs their implementation in-house.
Score: 12 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Seoras Avatar
15 months ago
I wonder if SoftBank timed this "for sale" talk to coincide with Apple's moving MacOS to ARM announcement in the hope of getting them to seriously consider buying them out?
I can think of several companies I'd rather not see taking control of ARM who'd love to use ownership to make life difficult for Apple. Yes, yes, "regulatory oversight and requirements that would accompany such a deal" should make it safe but then again...
Imagine Qualcomm owning ARM? That couldn't be good for anyone.
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
The Cappy Avatar
15 months ago

If Apple bought ARM, they would just find a way of making their products even more locked down.
How profoundly you misunderstand things. Apple doesn't want to buy ARM because they'd likely then be forced to license their own innovations. Every innovation they made to an ARM chip would result in a lawsuit because, as owners... well the rest should be obvious.
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Spock Avatar
15 months ago

What stops another company from buying ARM and then quadrupling (or more) the licensing fees? What alternatives would Apple have at that point?
Maybe they could go back to PowerPC and we could finally get that PowerBook G5 ?
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
4jasontv Avatar
15 months ago

What stops another company from buying ARM and then quadrupling (or more) the licensing fees? What alternatives would Apple have at that point?
It's not medicine, so I don't think you can do that in the US.
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

apple california streaming event

Apple Event Announced: 'California Streaming' on September 14 With iPhone 13, Apple Watch Series 7 Expected

Tuesday September 7, 2021 9:03 am PDT by
Apple today announced that it will be holding a special event on Tuesday, September 14 at 10:00 a.m. The event will take place at the Steve Jobs Theater on the Apple Park campus in Cupertino, California. As with WWDC and last year's fall events, this new event will be held digitally with no members of the media invited to attend in person. Apple will likely provide pre-taped segments for...
Apple Prefer Lightning Over USB C Feature

iPhone Sticking With Lightning Port Over USB-C for 'Foreseeable Future'

Tuesday March 2, 2021 9:32 am PST by
Apple will retain the Lightning connector on the iPhone for the "foreseeable future," with no intention of switching to USB-C, according to reliable analyst Ming-Chi Kuo. In spite of much of the industry moving toward USB-C, Apple will not be using it to replace the Lightning connector on the iPhone 13, or indeed on any iPhone model for the time being. In a note seen by MacRumors yesterday,...
youtube apple tv

YouTube Discontinuing 3rd-Generation Apple TV App, AirPlay Still Available

Wednesday February 3, 2021 3:09 pm PST by
YouTube is planning to stop supporting its YouTube app on the third-generation Apple TV models, where YouTube has long been available as a channel option. A 9to5Mac reader received a message about the upcoming app discontinuation, which is set to take place in March.Starting early March, the YouTube app will no longer be available on Apple TV (3rd generation). You can still watch YouTube on...
original iphone

Phil Schiller Says iPhone Was 'Earth-Shattering' Ten Years Ago and Remains 'Unmatched' Today

Monday January 9, 2017 7:15 am PST by
To commemorate the tenth anniversary of the iPhone, Apple marketing chief Phil Schiller sat down with tech journalist Steven Levy for a wide-ranging interview about the smartphone's past, present, and future. The report first reflects upon the iPhone's lack of support for third-party apps in its first year. The argument inside Apple was split between whether the iPhone should be a closed...
iOS 15 icon on phone

Apple Seeds Sixth Betas of iOS and iPadOS 15 to Developers

Tuesday August 17, 2021 10:05 am PDT by
Apple today seeded the sixth betas of iOS and iPadOS 15 to developers for testing purposes, with the updates coming one week after Apple released the fifth betas. Registered developers can download the profile for the iOS and iPadOS betas from the Apple Developer Center, and once the profile is installed, beta updates will be available over the air. iOS 15 is a major update that...
maroon5memories

Apple Collaborates With Maroon 5 to Add 'Memories' Song to Photos App

Wednesday September 25, 2019 12:02 pm PDT by
Apple has teamed up with Maroon 5 to add the group's new song "Memories" to the Memories feature in the Photos app, allowing it to be used for photo slide show creations, reports Billboard. "Memories" will be available as a soundtrack option for a limited time and it is available to iPhone and iPad users running the latest iOS 13 and iPadOS software. Memories in the Photos app are created ...
it home ecommerce app iphone 13

iPhone 13 to Launch on September 17, AirPods 3 on September 30, Claims Report

Wednesday August 25, 2021 2:42 am PDT by
Apple may be planning to launch the iPhone 13 on Friday, September 17 and third-generation AirPods on Thursday, September 30, according to an image of an e-commerce app discovered by Chinese language site IT Home. The screenshot, originally posted by Weibo account @PandaIsBald, suggests all four iPhone 13 models will go on sale on September 17, followed by the AirPods 3 on September 30....
MacBook Pro Coating

Apple Launches Quality Program for MacBook Pro Anti-Reflective Coating Issues

Saturday October 17, 2015 7:58 am PDT by
Apple has issued an internal notice about a new Quality Program that addresses anti-reflective coating issues on MacBook and MacBook Pro models with Retina displays, as confirmed by multiple sources. These issues include the anti-reflective coating on displays wearing off or delaminating under certain circumstances. Apple will replace Retina displays on affected MacBook or MacBook Pro models ...
iPhone 13 Dummy Thumbnail 2

Full iPhone 13 Feature Breakdown: Everything Rumors Say We Can Expect

Tuesday August 31, 2021 7:50 am PDT by
With the launch of Apple's iPhone 13 lineup believed to be just a few weeks away, we have compiled all of the coherent rumors from our coverage over the past year to build a full picture of the features and upgrades coming to the company's new smartphones. For clarity, only explicit improvements, upgrades, and new features compared to the iPhone 12 lineup are listed. It is worth noting that...
iphone 12 colors 2021

iPhone 12 Colors: Deciding on The Right Color

Thursday November 5, 2020 8:35 am PST by
The iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro arrived in October 2020 in a range of color options, with entirely new hues available on both devices, as well as some popular classics. The 12 and 12 Pro have different color choices, so if you have your heart set on a particular shade, you might not be able to get your preferred model in that color. iPhone 12 mini and iPhone 12 The iPhone 12 mini and iPhone...