MacRumors

macrumors bot
Original poster
Apr 12, 2001
53,582
15,281


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.jpg

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.

Article Link: SoftBank May Be Selling Arm, But Apple Isn't Interested
 
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: amartinez1660

Seoras

macrumors 6502a
Oct 25, 2007
622
1,490
Scotsman in New Zealand
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.
 

pearvsapple

macrumors 6502
Feb 1, 2012
359
137
Nvidia is eyeing ARM and I hope they acquire them. Imagine Apple and Nvidia both pushing powerful ARM processors for mobile, PC, workstations, datacenter, etc.

With only Apple pushing ARM for MacOS isn’t enough. We need a giant like Nvidia to do that as well on the Windows side so the entire industry can migrate to ARM ASAP.
 

mozumder

macrumors 65816
Mar 9, 2009
1,037
3,285
If I were Intel, man would I buy that company... Saves them from becoming (maybe, who knows) irrelevant.
Intel should honestly just develop a new RISC architecture (and not just use ARM or RISC-V). They could make their chips 4x-10x more power efficient just from a new architecture.

AMD could also do that as well, but they should probably go with RISC-V, which is very, very good. Intel has the ability to sell a new architecture if it's competitive. AMD doesn't.

x86 is so bad it's not funny. Kill it with fire and bury it. It is time.
 

techwhiz

macrumors 65816
Feb 22, 2010
1,237
1,606
Northern Ca.
AAPL knows it would never get Approved by the U.S. Gov't !

Nvidia might be the best choice.

Siemens & Fujitsu could ALSO be good choices.

Exactly.
It would never be approved.
It would give Apple control over the de-facto processor in the mobile industry and all it's licenses.
Qualcomm, Samsung, Hi-Silicon, etc. all license Arm processors. Some use the Cortex of processors completely unmodified or with requests for modification directly from ARM.

Apple buying ARM doesn't even pass a cursory smell test.
 

Catman8976

macrumors member
Nov 18, 2019
60
25
Nvidia is eyeing ARM and I hope they acquire them. Imagine Apple and Nvidia both pushing powerful ARM processors for mobile, PC, workstations, datacenter, etc.

With only Apple pushing ARM for MacOS isn’t enough. We need a giant like Nvidia to do that as well on the Windows side so the entire industry can migrate to ARM ASAP.
That's kind of pushing it.
 

SkippyThorson

macrumors 68000
Jul 22, 2007
1,580
764
Utica, NY
Fascinating; I'm surprised Apple doesn't shoehorn whatever they gain from this company into itself.

I'm also surprised there aren't other companies (Microsoft, Samsung, etc) looking at this solely to screw with Apple even if they have little to no interest or relevance.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Val-kyrie

FightTheFuture

macrumors 68000
Oct 19, 2003
1,621
2,294
that town east of ann arbor
AAPL knows it would never get Approved by the U.S. Gov't !

Nvidia might be the best choice.

Siemens & Fujitsu could ALSO be good choices.
I actually wonder if our policymakers can grasp the difference between ARM Architecture and Apple's own ARM licensing. Can't really wrap my head around it myself.

SoftBank is also considering a public stock listing as an alternative to a private sale.
ARMH used to be publicly traded before the Softbank buyout. Would be weird to see it return.
 

konqerror

macrumors 68020
Dec 31, 2013
2,298
3,694
Siemens & Fujitsu could ALSO be good choices.

You mean Infineon? The chip operation spun off in 1999.

If I were Intel, man would I buy that company... Saves them from becoming (maybe, who knows) irrelevant.

If Apple can't swing antitrust, there's no way in hell Intel can.
[automerge]1595456978[/automerge]
I'm also surprised there aren't other companies (Microsoft, Samsung, etc) looking at this solely to screw with Apple even if they have little to no interest or relevance.

As noted, this is a high profile sale, so antitrust regulators will be looking closely that nobody uses it to "screw" with a competitor. Not with the tens of millions going to lawyers and potential billion-dollar breakup fees to try.
 

jinnj

macrumors 6502
Dec 9, 2011
474
366
Intel should honestly just develop a new RISC architecture (and not just use ARM or RISC-V). They could make their chips 4x-10x more power efficient just from a new architecture.

AMD could also do that as well, but they should probably go with RISC-V, which is very, very good. Intel has the ability to sell a new architecture if it's competitive. AMD doesn't.

x86 is so bad it's not funny. Kill it with fire and bury it. It is time.
Patents! Intel and AMD own all the patents on the x86/x64 side and ARM has most on the RISC side. Google (Via Motorola), IBM and Apple have a few as well.
 
  • Like
Reactions: vmistery

jinnj

macrumors 6502
Dec 9, 2011
474
366
Fascinating; I'm surprised Apple doesn't shoehorn whatever they gain from this company into itself.

I'm also surprised there aren't other companies (Microsoft, Samsung, etc) looking at this solely to screw with Apple even if they have little to no interest or relevance.
Cost. Softbank isn't selling the #1 mobile processor for pennies. Also to screw Apple you need to screw all the other ARM customers. Where Qualcomm and Nokia failed in their licensing of their radio patents is that they wanted to make Apple pay more just because they are successful. They join and contribute to a consortium, agree to a price schedule. They don't get to pick and choose who gets charged more. Samsung is probably the biggest seller of BluRay players on the planet. Apple nor MS ever decide to charge Samsung more for their patents that are part of the BluRay consortium.
 
  • Like
Reactions: SkippyThorson
Register on MacRumors! This sidebar will go away, and you'll see fewer ads.