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.

Article Link: Imagination Technologies Up for Sale Following Apple Dispute
 

macs4nw

macrumors 601
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.
 
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solipsism

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Jan 13, 2008
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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%(?) stake in the company so if Img Tech can succeed then that benefits Apple.
 
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Nozuka

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Jul 3, 2012
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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?
 

Kabeyun

macrumors 68020
Mar 27, 2004
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Isn't that now at least two companies Apple has destroyed by removing business?
Another Apple supplier, partner, vendor drained out for heavy concentration on Apple. Hope other vendors, suppliers, strategic partners take note and hedge accordingly
This has a nasty smell of rotten fruit to it. Not what I (used to) expect of Apple.
You're saying that Apple owed it to Imagination Technologies to keep buying their chips even though they didn't want to anymore?
 

Saipher

macrumors 6502
Oct 25, 2014
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Time for Apple to snatch it up? However, I feel Apple has already gotten the best of it by poaching some of Imagination's employees; still would be a good purchase so to avoid such technology falling on "enemy's" hands.
 
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Kaibelf

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Cheaper to poach top talent than pay for a company built around that talent. All in all a dirty scheme. Guess this is what TC calls being "bad a$$" I call it being sorry A$$
As slavery is long gone, employees are free to leave if they choose. They don't owe their lives to a company. Also, they and their work built that company, not the other way around, so the value is in the individuals, not in the excess throughout the rest of the company.

If Imagination was providing the best opportunity, the employees would have stayed. Apple didn't exactly kidnap them. Are they part of this so-called "dirty scheme" because they chose to go?
 

elvisimprsntr

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Jul 17, 2013
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Similar to the way Apple looked at the Motorola PPC roadmap and switched to Intel, I suspect Apple looked at the Imagination roadmap vs. where Apple wants to take mobile computing, in particular AR/VR/ML. Apple likely realized there is a competitive advantage to keep their future designs in house or perhaps partner with a different company (NVDA or AMD) with a consistent roadmap.

Apple does not make these kind of changes haphazardly. Apple has 5 and 10 year technology plans, which Apple trickles out the core technology or functionality in new product releases. Every time I watch a product introduction keynote, I look for what new technologies Apple introduces and try to extrapolate where Apple might be headed. Example, TouchID preceded NFC/ApplePay in order to gauge acceptance and work out any issues before ApplePay
 
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fyun89

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Oct 3, 2014
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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.
I dont think they are incompetent at business.

Because Apple is so big, supply companies often cannot pursue other businesses because of their resource constraint.

Anyone doing business with Apple must take a bite of risk. I think Apple should be aware of this and take responsibility.
 
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apolloa

macrumors G5
Oct 21, 2008
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Time, because it rules EVERYTHING!
Isn't that now at least two companies Apple has destroyed by removing business?
Its Apples mo, I do hope whoever buys them watches Apple very very closely and sues the hell out of them when, because they will, use Imaginations designs and technologies and patents...

I presume Apple hopes they disappear so they can get away with that?