Apple sets up office near HQ of outgoing graphics tech supplier Imagination Technologies

Posted:
in iPhone
Apple has reportedly opened an office in St. Albans in the U.K., just a few miles away from the Kings Langley headquarters of its outgoing mobile graphics partner, Imagination Technologies.




The space measures 22,500 square feet, and is dedicated to developing proprietary graphics technology, The Telegraph said. The company is likely hoping to recruit more people away from Imagination, which currently makes about half of its revenues from the iPhone and iPad maker. Apple announced plans to migrate away from Imagination earlier this year, prompting the latter's shares to plummet. In late June, Imagination said it was looking to sell itself.

Apple's has already been recruiting Imagination workers for months, its most prominent get being COO John Metcalfe. Until now, hires were being sent to Apple's main offices in London, or overseas to California.

The company now has over a dozen listings for graphics-related jobs in South Hertfordshire, the region in which St. Albans and Kings Langley are based.

Apple and Imagination have entered into a war of words, with the latter claiming that Apple won't be able to develop new graphics tech without infringing on intellectual property, forcing a "dispute resolution procedure". Apple has meanwhile challenged Imagination's timeline of events, claiming that it stopped accepting new intellectual property from the UK firm in 2015, rather than in 2016 as Imagination said to its shareholders.

Apple has increasingly turned to proprietary chip designs, looking not just to sever its ties with third parties but to build optimized hardware. Custom graphics could deliver both faster rendering and lower power consumption, something particularly important as the company moves into fields like augmented reality.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 17
    Dirty and ruthless and I love it!  Very smart move by Apple!  Suck it Imagination!
    edited July 2017 lkruppbshank
  • Reply 2 of 17
    bkkcanuckbkkcanuck Posts: 857member
    They have a number of people that they hired previously from Imagination, and there are more in the area -- so it makes sense opening an office to attract people that might be interested but don't want to move to California.  I lived/worked in St. Albans area and back then it was a reasonable community to be located in....  well except at the time the 11pm (actually 11:20pm-ish) witching hour when the bars had to close at the. time and people were kicked onto the streets -- and the paddywagons came to pick up ne'er-do-wells....


    edited July 2017
  • Reply 3 of 17
    jameskatt2jameskatt2 Posts: 720member
    Apple can take Imagination's best engineers, suck the life out of it, then even buy the remnants.
    Apple already owns  10% of Imagination.

    bshank
  • Reply 4 of 17
    Rayz2016Rayz2016 Posts: 6,957member
    Ooh, that's a bit cheeky!
    hammerd2
  • Reply 5 of 17
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 33,408member
    Smart move. Then buy all the IP in the fire sale to follow.
    bshank
  • Reply 6 of 17
    bkkcanuckbkkcanuck Posts: 857member
    Apple can take Imagination's best engineers, suck the life out of it, then even buy the remnants.
    Apple already owns  10% of Imagination.

    Apple has stated (in response to questions of the sale of the company) that they are not interested in acquiring the company.  If they were remotely interested - they would have made the offer last year...  The problem is that Imagination has been mismanaged -- and while still having some experienced good employees -- they have not moved the ball forward enough to be of interest for the technology itself.  I could however see Intel buying the remnants -- just to show up it's IP portfolio.... (now that the contract with nVidia has expired) ... IMHO.  Intel use to own 15% of Imagination but totally divested itself of it....  so I could not see them buying them as a going concern.
    edited July 2017
  • Reply 7 of 17
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 33,117member
    What’s interesting is the assertion that Apple hasn’t used their newer tech. I recently reread an article about the A9, where it said that Apple apparently was using the previous year’s IP from them. That would make the timeline about right, and confirmed by others even before this became a public issue. And anandtech has been saying for at least three years that the chip doesn’t exactly match Imagination’s designs. What I’m reading, and these articles I’ve looking at are not new ones, is that Apple has been substituting their own portions of tech in the GPUs for some time.
    SpamSandwichradarthekatfotoformatpscooter63bshank
  • Reply 8 of 17
    robin huberrobin huber Posts: 3,515member
    Lesson for Apple suppliers, don't become it's creature. Maintain a balance with other clients and save the money you make from them--don't spend it. You may need it some day when Apple moves on. 
    muthuk_vanalingamgatorguyRayz2016
  • Reply 9 of 17
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 33,408member
    Lesson for Apple suppliers, don't become it's creature. Maintain a balance with other clients and save the money you make from them--don't spend it. You may need it some day when Apple moves on. 
    Any company that becomes too dependent on one product, one service or one client puts their company at risk. Interestingly enough, this also applies to Apple and the iPhone being their greatest source of income.
  • Reply 10 of 17
    bkkcanuckbkkcanuck Posts: 857member
    Lesson for Apple suppliers, don't become it's creature. Maintain a balance with other clients and save the money you make from them--don't spend it. You may need it some day when Apple moves on. 
    Any company that becomes too dependent on one product, one service or one client puts their company at risk. Interestingly enough, this also applies to Apple and the iPhone being their greatest source of income.
    Also another lesson, if you rest on your laurels .... your tech will depreciate over time and you no longer have anything worth selling.
    cornchip
  • Reply 11 of 17
    larryjwlarryjw Posts: 858member
    The rule in working with Apple shouldn't be just not becoming too dependent, that's true of any small company dealing with a far bigger company. Working with Apple means pushing R&D so Apple will buy your newest tech. This means selling commodity chips or hardware or IP to Apple is suicide. 

    In 2009, Imagination Tech became primarily an IP licensing company, according to their own publications. That doomed them. They got lazy. 

    A company dealing with Apple has to be have two divisions: commodity and skunkworks. Commodity sells standard components to everyone, including Apple. The skunkworks division works in secret pushing the envelope for their special clients. 
    bshankcornchip
  • Reply 12 of 17
    thttht Posts: 4,127member
    larryjw said:
    In 2009, Imagination Tech became primarily an IP licensing company, according to their own publications. That doomed them. They got lazy. 

    A company dealing with Apple has to be have two divisions: commodity and skunkworks. Commodity sells standard components to everyone, including Apple. The skunkworks division works in secret pushing the envelope for their special clients. 

    Remember that PowerVR shipped in Samsung Exynos, Intel Atom, various lessor known SoCs (TI OMAP had PowerVR, but couldn't compete and they cratered) in the 2009 to 2012 time frame. They had a dominant position in the mobile GPU market. What killed them wasn't becoming an IP company nor was it become too dependent on Apple. What killed them was that they couldn't compete against ARMH Mali GPUs and weren't good enough to prevent vertical SoCs from going custom. Exynos went Mali. Snapdragon continued to use Adreno. Intel went with their own GPUs (from Core i-series chips). Nvidia always used their own design obviously. And the Chinese SoCs like MediaTek and HiSilicon are now predominantly ARMH Mali.

    There aren't any rules for working with Apple other than the usual rules in contracting with a big company. It's no different in any other industry. Imagination Tech failed all on their own.
    SpamSandwichpscooter63
  • Reply 13 of 17
    Smart move. Then buy all the IP in the fire sale to follow.
    What stops Samsung from doing that and then sue Apple?
    hammerd2
  • Reply 14 of 17
    bkkcanuckbkkcanuck Posts: 857member
    Smart move. Then buy all the IP in the fire sale to follow.
    What stops Samsung from doing that and then sue Apple?
    The fact that Samsung probably makes more profit from Apple than their own phones :o
  • Reply 15 of 17
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 33,408member
    Smart move. Then buy all the IP in the fire sale to follow.
    What stops Samsung from doing that and then sue Apple?
    Whoever makes the best offer would seal the deal, most likely.
  • Reply 16 of 17
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 33,117member
    Smart move. Then buy all the IP in the fire sale to follow.
    What stops Samsung from doing that and then sue Apple?
    What has you think that Samsung could, or would sue Apple’s over that? They would need proof that Apple was using the IP first. Just because Imagination is so shocked at this, which is in itself amazing, doesn’t mean that they’re right. There’s a lot of GPU IP floating around, a bunch of which whose patents have, or are about to run out.

    so in addition to the patents Apple has, and don’t forget that in addition to the patents Apple has from their own work, they have patents in those large patent groups they, and in a couple of cases, they bought with other firms. They can license whatever patent fillers they need from AMD, Intel, IBM, Nvidia and others. Saying that they will no longer need Imagination’s IP, doesn’t mean that they are also saying that they won’t have IP from others.
    edited July 2017
  • Reply 17 of 17
    MacProMacPro Posts: 19,426member
    bkkcanuck said:
    Smart move. Then buy all the IP in the fire sale to follow.
    What stops Samsung from doing that and then sue Apple?
    The fact that Samsung probably makes more profit from Apple than their own phones :o
    I suspect my you could make more profit at a lemonade stand than Samsung make on their phones ;)
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