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

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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.


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.

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

vmistery

macrumors 6502a
Apr 6, 2010
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They haven’t owned it for very long, can’t imagine there are many companies that would go it alone with something like ARM but be interesting to see.
 

Forti

macrumors member
Nov 14, 2018
33
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ARM is coming to PC and they want to sell it? How does it make any sens... ?
 

SSD-GUY

macrumors 65816
Sep 20, 2012
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Interstellar
This is full-on Apple Vertical Integration. We are truly living in magical times my dudes.
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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.
Lol have you seen how much money Softbank has lost over the past year? Their investor decks are a delight to view.
 

PBG4 Dude

macrumors 68030
Jul 6, 2007
2,918
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Once upon a time, Apple used to own a significant portion of ARM stock. Maybe sold to avoid potential AAPL bankruptcy.
I wouldn’t be surprised. According to Steve Jobs during one interview, Apple was 90 days away from declaring bankruptcy when he rejoined as interim CEO.
 
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Seoras

macrumors 6502
Oct 25, 2007
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Scotsman in New Zealand
I wonder how old the patents are that Apple is licensing? Have they been licensing newer ARM patents from Softbank since 2006 or is it a bunch of old patents due to expire?
I don't think licensing ARM is about patents since the ARM was developed back in the early 80's and also Apple only uses the ARM instruction set and not ARM Holding ARM Architecture.
It's the right to use the instruction set that is being licensed.
 

827538

macrumors 65816
Jul 3, 2013
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As someone who does a lot of investing it's been remarkable watching how badly Softbank have wasted their money.

ARM wasn't necessarily a bad purchase but it was a bit odd. Christ if I had invested my money like Softbank has I would be bankrupt.
 

ksec

macrumors 65816
Dec 23, 2015
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I wouldn’t be surprised. According to Steve Jobs during one interview, Apple was 90 days away from declaring bankruptcy when he rejoined as interim CEO.
That is exactly what happened, along with other holdings, cutting project, and a settlement from Microsoft that kept Apple alive.
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As someone who does a lot of investing it's been remarkable watching how badly Softbank have wasted their money.

ARM wasn't necessarily a bad purchase but it was a bit odd. Christ if I had invested my money like Softbank has I would be bankrupt.
It is not all their own money, Softbank is just acting like a Massive VC.
 

GeoStructural

macrumors 6502
Oct 8, 2016
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I can imagine Apple buying a controlling share. They are hedging a lot on their own CPU's and may want full control over the future of ARM.
Apple used to own a fair share of Arm, and was one of the founders. The "A" in ARM originally stood for "Acorn", and Apple made them change it to "Advanced" hahaha, shady, but it shows they had some power back then.

As someone pointed out, they probably sold their part when things were not going well. This is probably a good time to reacquire it.
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If Apple was to own ARM then it would make for a more balanced relationship with Qualcomm.
Or be the end of it...
 

Onelifenofear

macrumors 6502
Feb 20, 2019
280
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Interestingly ARM was originally a joint venture between Acorn computer ( good old BBC Model B! ) and Apple! That I never knew.

From wiki
"... Apple was developing an entirely new computing platform for its 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 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]

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] The bulk of the Advanced Research and Development section of Acorn that had developed the ARM CPU formed the basis of 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] while VLSI was an investor and first ARM licensee.[57]
 
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