Originally Posted by hmurchison
I don't buy the whole " spend billions to keep others from having it" ethos.
I agree... now here's what's going thru my mind...
- Apple buys PA Semi (a firm that designs custom versions of ARM processors) 278M
- Some former PA Semi employees then established AgniLux. Rumor has it some of the 278M from Apple funded the startup. Now reports indicate that AgniLux was working on Server technologies and not the same stuff PA Semi had been doing but who knows. You'd think that Apple would have had something in place that prevented some/many of the most KEY personnel from entering the same 'business' for X years (non-compete clause) but how far down did that go?
- Apple introduces the 4G ... A renamed PA Semi in house design with specific features for Apple.
- Google then announces the purchase of AgniLux! (sum not yet disclosed) this was just a few days ago.
Now we hear this latest rumor...
- Apple buying ARM!
Here are my questions:
1. Are we seeing some kind of retaliation from Apple or a preemptive strike?
2. Is Apple buying ARM with plans to not sign ANY new contracts (they'd have to live up to the current contracts)
3. Is Apple buying this because it doesn't want to see ARM fall into the hands of Google?
4. Is Apple buying this to prevent it falling into the hands of someone else?
The whole idea of Apple owning ARM is a little far from their normal business model. PA was different, a relatively small buyout who didn't really have lots of longstanding contracts with CE manufacturers, it made sense for Apple to snap them up before PA got noticed by everyone else.
Apple owning ARM? They couldn't just STOP everyone from using the ARM processors since pre-existing contracts are already in place and who knows what terms are attached to those contracts. 3 years, 5 years, 10 years or are they based on designs? The next 1, 2, 3, 4 major designs? I dunno even presume to know how that market operates. However, they could choose to not sign or renew any new contracts but could/would they? Finally would the MANY regulatory agencies insist that Apple continue to sign licenses for ARM technologies for a given time frame?
Now let's put the purchase of ARM in another light... What IF ARM was looking to sell their business.. Would Apple be comfortable with someone like Google, Microsoft, Intel or even AMD from becoming the new owner? ARM as a standalone company is one thing.. Apple is relatively free to hold private meetings with them talking about what Apple would like to see in future designs. How would that change if ARM was run by Google or Microsoft etc?
That might be a very big motivator for Apple to snap it up first, but would a bidding war ensue? You have to think ARM would love to see THAT happen and to Google, Microsoft, and Intel a bidding war might not be such a big deal but Apple doesn't like to overpay for anything and that was the key factor why they lost out on that AD company that Google bought out from under them... Do you really see Apple entering such a feeding frenzy over ARM? Now I was mentioning Intel but they might not be relevant here do to its position in the CPU market.
Its a tough call..