Apple ups stake in iPhone graphics chip designer

Posted:
in iPhone edited January 2014
Apple has increased its holdings in Imagination Technologies, the chip designer responsible for the graphics technology inside the iPhone and iPod touch, and now holds a combined 9.5% stake in the company.



The British firm said Friday that Apple subscribed to 2.2 million new shares at £1.4275 per share -- the mid market close price on 25 June 2009 -- shortly after purchasing another 11.52 million shares on the open market. Combined, the investment of nearly US$5.2 million, brings the iPhone maker's total ownership interest in the company to 9.5%, up from 3.6%.



Apple is a "multi-year, multi-IP, multi-use" licensee of Imagination's current and future portfolio of PowerVR mobile graphics components, including the next generation PowerVR SGX VXD video IP cores.



That agreement is part of a broader, triangular deal orchestrated by the Cupertino-based electronics maker, shortly after acquiring fabless chipmaker PA Semi, that will allow it to internally develop its own next-generation mobile SoCs for future multi-touch handhelds that incorporate Imagination's latest graphics technology and then use Samsung to manufacture the chips.



Earlier this month, AppleInsider was first to report that the new iPhone 3GS achieves its OpenGL ES 2.0 support through the use of the PowerVR SGX graphics processor core, confirming predictions it made as early as April 2008 when news first broke of the secret deal struck between Imagination, Samsung, and Apple.



Apple's move to increase its holdings in Imagination comes just days after Intel over a period of two weeks upped its own stake in the chip designer to just over 16% by gobbling up tens of millions of new shares of its own. Like Apple, Intel is also a licensee of Imaginations technology, which it plans to incorporate into its Atom processor for netbooks and other mobile internet devices (MIDS).



The continued investment in Imagination by both tech heavyweights underscores the chip designer's position as a leader in mobile graphics technology, for which there is no equal. Although both companies have gradually increased their holdings in the UK-based firm, neither has shown signs of entertaining a serious takeover bid for the company, despite recent activity in Imagination's share price that would suggest otherwise.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 31
    merdheadmerdhead Posts: 587member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


    That agreement is part of a broader, triangular deal orchestrated by the Cupertino-based electronics maker, shortly after acquiring fabless chipmaker PA Semi, that will allow it to internally develop its own next-generation mobile SoCs for future multi-touch handhelds that incorporate Imagination's latest graphics technology and then use Samsung to manufacture the chips.



    Is this opinion or do you have a source for this statement?
  • Reply 2 of 31
    kasperkasper Posts: 941member, administrator
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by merdhead View Post


    Is this opinion or do you have a source for this statement?



    Please see the earlier reports linked into the article. They tell the whole story. We are 99.9% certain. All of our earlier predictions have panned out and we expected, in due time, this will as well.



    K
  • Reply 3 of 31
    quadra 610quadra 610 Posts: 6,743member
    One analyst notes that this increasing ownership by Apple and Intel can cause some concern amongst competitors who also license Imagination Technologies' hardware:



    "Too high a stake by Apple or Intel could well cause some existing or potential licensees to think twice about having Imagination's technologies at the core of their roadmaps. We understand that management has already received concerned phone calls from existing licensees."



    http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/m.../2009/jun/26/1
  • Reply 4 of 31
    petermacpetermac Posts: 115member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Kasper View Post


    Please see the earlier reports linked into the article. They tell the whole story. We are 99.9% certain. All of our earlier predictions have panned out and we expected, in due time, this will as well.



    K



    This seems such a small investment, for a company the size of Apple & Intel. If they wanted to invest, why not take a larger stake, say 25% and get a seat on the board.



    Any explanations?



    Edit: I mean Steve Jobs will spend 3 times as much redeveloping Jackling House
  • Reply 5 of 31
    kasperkasper Posts: 941member, administrator
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by petermac View Post


    This seems such a small investment, for a company the size of Apple & Intel. If they wanted to invest, why not take a larger stake, say 25% and get a seat on the board.



    Any explanations?



    They may be content as high-level investors and not want to own the company outright, which could also lead to some antitrust matters. But that's just speculation.
  • Reply 6 of 31
    merdheadmerdhead Posts: 587member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Kasper View Post


    Please see the earlier reports linked into the article. They tell the whole story. We are 99.9% certain. All of our earlier predictions have panned out and we expected, in due time, this will as well.



    K



    It was more of a question of making it clear in the text. I'd be interested if someone from Apple actually intimated as much.
  • Reply 7 of 31
    petermacpetermac Posts: 115member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Kasper View Post


    They may be content as high-level investors and not want to own the company outright, which could also lead to some antitrust matters. But that's just speculation.



    In years gone by, Apple has taken, and then sold, larger stakes in ARM, Adobe? Positions where they didn't own the company, but believed enough to take sizable positions. Does it get awkward with Intels stake in the company.



    Anyways, I always believed Apple should buy Sony or at least 50% of it, and then license all their technologies and marketing to Sony.
  • Reply 8 of 31
    hiimamachiimamac Posts: 584member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by petermac View Post


    In years gone by, Apple has taken, and then sold, larger stakes in ARM, Adobe? Positions where they didn't own the company, but believed enough to take sizable positions. Does it get awkward with Intels stake in the company.



    Anyways, I always believed Apple should buy Sony or at least 50% of it, and then license all their technologies and marketing to Sony.



    I know you don't mean his but would it be great if Apple had 50% of Sony and realesed osx in. Limited fashion.
  • Reply 9 of 31
    virgil-tb2virgil-tb2 Posts: 1,416member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by merdhead View Post


    It was more of a question of making it clear in the text. I'd be interested if someone from Apple actually intimated as much.



    I can't speak for Apple Insider, but it's a fact that Apple uses the chips and a fact that they bought the exclusive design licence and a fact that they bought PA Semi.



    I think Kasper's 0.1% is just because it's not certain they will use the licence until they announce the new chip, and it's not 100% that they will use Samsung to manufacture it. But it's not likely they would do all that, and spend all that money if they weren't ever going to use the licence and make some of their own chips.
  • Reply 10 of 31
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by petermac View Post


    This seems such a small investment, for a company the size of Apple & Intel. If they wanted to invest, why not take a larger stake, say 25% and get a seat on the board.



    Any explanations?



    Edit: I mean Steve Jobs will spend 3 times as much redeveloping Jackling House



    IMG's strength lies in the diversity of its customers. IMG designs the IP, people pay a licence plus royalities on a per-chip basis. The money in funds further R&D, effectively all of IMG's licencees pay for the R&D for everyone, one way or another.



    The company only works if there is a broad portfolio of licencees.



    If one company buys them out, they they get the current and next gen tech, but then they totally have to fund the R&D and 500+ staff that work at IMG for ever more.
  • Reply 11 of 31
    mark2005mark2005 Posts: 1,158member
    Quote:



    So is there something, like competition, going on between Apple and Intel?
  • Reply 12 of 31
    virgil-tb2virgil-tb2 Posts: 1,416member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by petermac View Post


    In years gone by, Apple has taken, and then sold, larger stakes in ARM, Adobe? Positions where they didn't own the company, but believed enough to take sizable positions. Does it get awkward with Intels stake in the company.



    Anyways, I always believed Apple should buy Sony or at least 50% of it, and then license all their technologies and marketing to Sony.



    I think Apple can more or less be relied upon not to get too predatory here. If it was Microsoft, they would probably try to own the whole deal, Apple plays better with friends and neighbours than that (usually).



    IMO the chief danger is intel. Apple needs access to the technology so if intel did something mean like trying to buy up too much of the company, it might spark a "war" of sorts where Apple would be forced to respond by buying up more.



    My understanding is that the company is widely held and the technology used by many different parties which is the healthiest situation from a business and social point of view. Monopolies are *always* bad. Where they are necessary or unavoidable, nationalisation is the only intelligent response.
  • Reply 13 of 31
    brucepbrucep Posts: 2,823member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Kasper View Post


    Please see the earlier reports linked into the article. They tell the whole story. We are 99.9% certain. All of our earlier predictions have panned out and we expected, in due time, this will as well.



    K



    So DOES this means that we will have better Graphic GPU chips coming for faster 3d speed and gaming ?? I guess for the MBP and the rest .
  • Reply 14 of 31
    brucepbrucep Posts: 2,823member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Quadra 610 View Post


    One analyst notes that this increasing ownership by Apple and Intel can cause some concern amongst competitors who also license Imagination Technologies' hardware:



    "Too high a stake by Apple or Intel could well cause some existing or potential licensees to think twice about having Imagination's technologies at the core of their roadmaps. We understand that management has already received concerned phone calls from existing licensees."



    http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/m.../2009/jun/26/1



    These fears mean nothing if the only place to shop is imagination . Also intel and apple as major stake holders would want to sell as much product as possible. They would not restrict the market .



    I feel that apple and intel are blocking msft out with their share buying spree of imagination stock.

    Amd may next invest .





    9
  • Reply 15 of 31
    hmurchisonhmurchison Posts: 12,268member
    Microsoft appears to be aligning with Nvidia and Tegra so I doubt we see them move towards Imagination.



    It's really Intel that would offer any roadblock. They don't have a capable GPU architecture for smartphones/MID product as GMA and Larrabee graphics don't play

    at that low of a wattage range so Intel has to make sure they are "in the loop"
  • Reply 16 of 31
    brucepbrucep Posts: 2,823member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by petermac View Post


    In



    Anyways, I always believed Apple should buy Sony or at least 50% of it, and then license all their technologies and marketing to Sony.



    Apple should buy %100 of Sony YES

    and after selling off the content divisions and the computer division's. Intergrate the two companies

    into one seamless machine of great products .
  • Reply 17 of 31
    brucepbrucep Posts: 2,823member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by mark2005 View Post


    So is there something, like competition, going on between Apple and Intel?



    seems like something had been boiling up lately , Intel is moving into HPU chips now. But intel and apple both need each other. So maybe its high level cat and mouse .
  • Reply 18 of 31
    brucepbrucep Posts: 2,823member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by hmurchison View Post


    Microsoft appears to be aligning with Nvidia and Tegra so I doubt we see them move towards Imagination.



    It's really Intel that would offer any roadblock. They don't have a capable GPU architecture for smartphones/MID product as GMA and Larrabee graphics don't play

    at that low of a wattage range so Intel has to make sure they are "in the loop"



    What does Microsoft have to do with chips ??
  • Reply 19 of 31
    hmurchisonhmurchison Posts: 12,268member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by brucep View Post


    What does Microsoft have to do with chips ??



    They buy them though evidently not from Imagination. It was in response to



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Brucep


    I feel that apple and intel are blocking msft out with their share buying spree of imagination stock.

    Amd may next invest .



    I don't think Microsoft is attempting to forge a relationship with Imagination.
  • Reply 20 of 31
    hattighattig Posts: 830member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by petermac View Post


    Edit: I mean Steve Jobs will spend 3 times as much redeveloping Jackling House



    What?! "2.2 million of those shares reportedly cost the iPhone maker £1.43 ($2.36) a pop, while the rest changed hands at an undisclosed price. If all new shares cost the same, then Apple must have spent a total of $32.3 million on the deal"



    SJ is spending $90m on redeveloping a house?
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