Apple challenges Imagination's timeline, declares it stopped taking new IP in 2015

Posted:
in General Discussion
Apple has apparently taken issue with Imagination Technologies statements against it, and now says that the GPU maker knew that Apple was cutting back on its technologies since 2015, well before the public declaration in the spring.




In a statement to Bloomberg issued on Friday, Apple says that it stopped accepting new technologies and told Imagination that it was going to discontinue the relationship in 2015. Imagination only told its shareholders that this was happening in 2016, after Apple invoked the clause in its contract to pay a lower royalty rate for using less of Imagination's technologies.

"We began working with Imagination in 2007 and stopped accepting new IP from them in 2015. After lengthy discussions we advised them on February 9 that we expected to wind down our licensing agreement since we need unique and differentiating IP for our products," Apple told Bloomberg. "We valued our past relationship and wanted to give them as much notice as possible to adapt their future plans."

The timeline that Apple provides isn't consistent with Imagination's public account of the event. Imagination did inform investors when Apple told it that there would be no further royalty payments by 2018. However, there appears to be no cautionary statements by Imagination to shareholders in 2015 that Apple was cutting back.

In Imagination's latest earnings report on Tuesday, CEO Andrew Heath reiterated Apple's declaration that it would cease licensing, and paying for, his company's GPU technology. Imagination continues to refute claims that Apple will be able to develop its own technology without infringing on its intellectual property, and said that because of Apple's moves, it had to change course on a recovery plan.

"Apple made an unsubstantiated claim, which obliged us to inform the markets, leading to a significant decrease in our share price. The claim has led us to invoke a contractual dispute resolution procedure and has created significant uncertainty with respect to our business, including our employees," said Heath. "We do not believe this to be acceptable business practice nor in line with Apple's own ethics statements regarding suppliers."

Apple's license fees and royalties represented revenue of $75.8 million for the 2015-2016 financial year, and rose to approximately $81 million for the fiscal year that ended on April 2017. The UK firm's shares plunged in value by more than 60 percent in the immediate wake of the announcement, and 70 percent to date.

Imagination is the creator of mobile graphics processing architectures, most notably the PowerVR architecture, which is used in a number of smartphones, tablets, and other compact devices. Apple uses the company's architecture in many of its products, including iPhones, iPads, the Apple TV, Apple Watch, and iPods.

Apple was said to be in talks to acquire Imagination early last year, though ultimately no such deal was made. Bloomberg's sources note on Friday that Apple is not expected to make an offer for the company.

Apple continues to assert that it has been "working on a separate, independent graphics design in order to control its products."
«13

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 45
    dachardachar Posts: 330member
    If Apple no longer needs Imagination's IP why would they be in talks to acquire the company?
    welshdog
  • Reply 2 of 45
    blastdoorblastdoor Posts: 1,918member
    dachar said:
    If Apple no longer needs Imagination's IP why would they be in talks to acquire the company?
    Perhaps there is a distinction between need and want. 

    Also, employees.
    jbdragonradarthekatwatto_cobra
  • Reply 3 of 45
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 31,098member
    Sounds an awful lot like Imagination may have defrauded their investors. Expect class-action lawsuits. Lots of 'em.
    jbdragonleavingthebiggpscooter63caliradarthekatmacpluspluscpelham
  • Reply 4 of 45
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 31,658member
    New information this prime. I’m going to assume that Apple wouldn’t make. Statement they have no evidence of. So when they say that they told them they were winding down their relationship back in sometime 2015, that’s a new revelation. It weakens Imagination’s case. 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 5 of 45
    leavingthebiggleavingthebigg Posts: 1,140member
    I do not recall one time Imagination's CEO mentioned information his company knew in 2015 about Apple not using its GPU IP. I wonder what Imagination is going to say now? 

    On the 2015 front, Apple introduced its new graphics programming language, Metal, at WWDC 2015.
    Rayz2016watto_cobra
  • Reply 6 of 45
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 31,658member
    Apple had bought two small GPU design companies over the years, and has a number of their own patents they had gotten besides whatever those companies had. If Apple spoke to them in 2015, it means they must have had enough IP to know where they were going with this, and had some inkling of when it might happen. The more specific times they gave them since, is just a refinement of that timeline.

    going to the reviews in Anandtech of Apple’s iOS products for the past two years, at least, shows Anandtech being suspicious that there is Apple IP in the GPU, as what they see doesn’t exactly match up with Imagination’s IP. So we’re likely seeing some of Apple’s work in present products. If, as Apple says, they haven’t been taking any new Imagination IP since 2015, that’s really a big deal, because the question becomes - what is in their GPU?
    edited July 2017 radarthekatleavingthebiggwatto_cobra
  • Reply 7 of 45
    williamhwilliamh Posts: 655member
    I do not recall one time Imagination's CEO mentioned information his company knew in 2015 about Apple not using its GPU IP. I wonder what Imagination is going to say now? 

    On the 2015 front, Apple introduced its new graphics programming language, Metal, at WWDC 2015
    It does seem to me that Metal would serve to abstract the video hardware. Mind you I am pretty ignorant about this stuff.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 8 of 45
    brucemcbrucemc Posts: 1,527member
    Have to imagine that Apple, being the largest public company by market cap, the most profitable, and with the biggest target on its back - has an ARMY of lawyers to review such statements and corroborating material.  I would trust an Apple statement more than the ramblings of a small company CEO...
    caliwatto_cobra
  • Reply 9 of 45
    SoliSoli Posts: 8,811member
    dachar said:
    If Apple no longer needs Imagination's IP why would they be in talks to acquire the company?
    If Apple was able to acquire the company they can get the company to design specifically for them, which is clearly what Apple needs moving forward with machine learning and AR.
    caliradarthekatwatto_cobra
  • Reply 10 of 45
    Shareholder lawsuits in 3, 2, 1 ...
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 11 of 45
    tmaytmay Posts: 3,747member
    Soli said:
    dachar said:
    If Apple no longer needs Imagination's IP why would they be in talks to acquire the company?
    If Apple was able to acquire the company they can get the company to design specifically for them, which is clearly what Apple needs moving forward with machine learning and AR.
    Apple didn't want the whole company to begin with, they had no need for MIPS, and Apple required exclusivity. Apple would have had to accept any contractual/licensing agreement with existing customers, and that revenue would be of little value in a purchase.
  • Reply 12 of 45
    spacekidspacekid Posts: 171member
    What many may know what IP stands for, it is not a household word. Some may think it stands for Internet Protocol. The best practice is to spell out the word with the abbreviation in parenthesis and then use the abbreviation afterwards. Like Intellectual Property (IP).
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 13 of 45
    SoliSoli Posts: 8,811member
    tmay said:
    Soli said:
    dachar said:
    If Apple no longer needs Imagination's IP why would they be in talks to acquire the company?
    If Apple was able to acquire the company they can get the company to design specifically for them, which is clearly what Apple needs moving forward with machine learning and AR.
    Apple didn't want the whole company to begin with, they had no need for MIPS, and Apple required exclusivity. Apple would have had to accept any contractual/licensing agreement with existing customers, and that revenue would be of little value in a purchase.
    I’m not sure of your point since there was talk that Apple tried to make a purchase but they come to an agreement. It sounds like you’re saying Apple had no such intention to buy any of their IP or talent.
  • Reply 14 of 45
    vmarksvmarks Posts: 692editor
    tmay said:
    Soli said:
    dachar said:
    If Apple no longer needs Imagination's IP why would they be in talks to acquire the company?
    If Apple was able to acquire the company they can get the company to design specifically for them, which is clearly what Apple needs moving forward with machine learning and AR.
    Apple didn't want the whole company to begin with, they had no need for MIPS, and Apple required exclusivity. Apple would have had to accept any contractual/licensing agreement with existing customers, and that revenue would be of little value in a purchase.
    Incorrect. Upon purchase of AuthenTec for the touchID technology, Apple gave AuthenTec the direction to tell all their customers they had one month more of support and sales and then would be cut off. AuthenTec sold their module to Motorola prior to Apple buying them. Motorola had one month's notice.
  • Reply 15 of 45
    Mike WuertheleMike Wuerthele Posts: 4,571administrator
    spacekid said:
    What many may know what IP stands for, it is not a household word. Some may think it stands for Internet Protocol. The best practice is to spell out the word with the abbreviation in parenthesis and then use the abbreviation afterwards. Like Intellectual Property (IP).
    Tell Apple.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 16 of 45
    anton zuykovanton zuykov Posts: 1,031member
    dachar said:
    If Apple no longer needs Imagination's IP why would they be in talks to acquire the company?
    to remove a potential competition, if another company acquires them?
  • Reply 17 of 45
    tmaytmay Posts: 3,747member
    Soli said:
    tmay said:
    Soli said:
    dachar said:
    If Apple no longer needs Imagination's IP why would they be in talks to acquire the company?
    If Apple was able to acquire the company they can get the company to design specifically for them, which is clearly what Apple needs moving forward with machine learning and AR.
    Apple didn't want the whole company to begin with, they had no need for MIPS, and Apple required exclusivity. Apple would have had to accept any contractual/licensing agreement with existing customers, and that revenue would be of little value in a purchase.
    I’m not sure of your point since there was talk that Apple tried to make a purchase but they come to an agreement. It sounds like you’re saying Apple had no such intention to buy any of their IP or talent.
    http://appleinsider.com/articles/16/10/13/apple-poaching-gpu-designer-imagination-technologies-talent-hiring-key-personnel-away

    I just stated that there wasn't much value in Apple purchasing Imagination Technologies, and as Apple is reported as not having made an offer, I'm guessing that hiring talent away, and ending IP licensing was how it ended up.
  • Reply 18 of 45
    wizard69wizard69 Posts: 12,791member
    Sounds an awful lot like Imagination may have defrauded their investors. Expect class-action lawsuits. Lots of 'em.
    Yeah this does not look good for Imagination.   What is even worse is that Imagination has done nothing to expand their market base.   Really we should have seen two years of action to get on other platforms instead we saw nothing. 

    Imagine if you will an open Linux driver.  
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 19 of 45
    wizard69wizard69 Posts: 12,791member
    What is really gross here is Imagination claiming Apple can not design a GPU without their IP.   That is pretty asinine considering the "A" series chips have world class CPUs running the ARM instruction set, high performance image processing hardware and other goodies designed by Apple.    Combine that with sll the AMD engineers they hired and it makes you wonder how out of touch Imagination is.  
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 20 of 45
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 31,098member
    spacekid said:
    What many may know what IP stands for, it is not a household word. Some may think it stands for Internet Protocol. The best practice is to spell out the word with the abbreviation in parenthesis and then use the abbreviation afterwards. Like Intellectual Property (IP).
    One should not capitalize "intellectual property".
Sign In or Register to comment.