Apple is reportedly eyeing a potential acquisition of UK-based ARM Holdings in a massive deal that could amount to more than £5.2 billion ($8 billion).
Indeed, according to The Evening Standard, Apple is currently ARM’s “biggest” customer and may be preparing to “take chip design” in house.
“A deal would make a lot of sense for Apple,” one trader told The Evening Standard.
“That way, they could stop ARM’s technology from ending up in everyone else’s computers and gadgets.”
It should be noted that Apple originally founded ARM in a 1990 partnership with UK computer manufacturer Acorn and chip fab VLSI Technologies.
“At the time, Apple was interested in adapting Acorn’s new RISC processor for use as a mobile processor in the company’s new Newton Message Pad,” explained Daniel Eran Dilger of AppleInsider.
“As Apple discontinued the the Newton line in the late 90s, chief executive Steve Jobs began selling Apple’s shares of ARM in an effort to balance the company’s books.
“Apple returned to ARM processors with the iPod in 2001, and has consistently used ARM processors ever since in its iPods, recent AirPort wireless base stations, the iPhone and iPad.”
Dilger also noted that Apple “appears” to have acquired chip designer Intrinsity in an effort to accelerate the ARM Cortex A8 to 1GHz speeds.
“Were Apple to buy ARM, it could leverage a great deal of power over the market for mobile and embedded processors chips, the vast majority of which are based on licensed ARM designs,” he added.
Arm’s chief executive Warren East:
“Exciting though it is to have the share price pushed up by these rumors, common sense tells us that our standard business model is an excellent way for technology companies to gain access to our technology,” Warren told the Guardian.
“Nobody has to buy the company.”