Apple seeking to acquire ARM? [Updated]

Reports are floating that Apple is interested in making an offer to buy out mobile chip maker ARM. The London Standard Evening claims that rumors within the financial markets in London are pointing to a coming Apple bid.

“A deal would make a lot of sense for Apple,” said one trader. “That way, they could stop ARM's technology from ending up in everyone else's computers and gadgets.” Traders reckon a bid would come in at around 400p a share, valuing ARM at more than £5.2 billion.

Claims over the buyout originated from Apple’s strong Q2 earnings report from yesterday, which itself raised ARM’s shares since Apple incorporates ARM chips and design within their iPhone, iPod Touch, and iPad.

The Register has further details that such a bid could cost up to $8 billion, which would take a hefty 20% of Apple’s current stockpile of $41.7 billion in reserves. Such a takeover could have severe implications for the industry, as the majority of mobile device companies incorporate either ARM chips or licenses into their devices.

Update: ARM’s CEO has commented on the rumor: "Exciting though it is to have the share price pushed up by these rumours, common sense tells us that our standard business model is an excellent way for technology companies to gain access to our technology. Nobody has to buy the company," East told the Guardian.

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Definitely not going to happen. ARM processors, or at least their design, are used in most embedded devices. They're doing very well and they hardly have any competition.

Like someone pointed out, it's as if Microsoft would buy Intel just so they could control x86 and **** off Apple.

Even if Apple buys out ARM, dont expect much to change. A company wont spend $8billion just to **** off other mobile device companies... Oh wait, its Apple lol.

"That way, they could stop ARM's technology from ending up in everyone else's computers and gadgets.” ....... what you mean where it already is?.... ARM's been in other stuff for decades now... heck the first Windows CE systems ran on ARM procs

neufuse said,
"That way, they could stop ARM's technology from ending up in everyone else's computers and gadgets.” ....... what you mean where it already is?.... ARM's been in other stuff for decades now... heck the first Windows CE systems ran on ARM procs

They don't have lifetime contracts with ARM, they purchase processors as they need them. If Apple took over they could just stop selling them, meaning that the other manufactures couldn't produce any more phones. This wouldn't affect existing phones.

If Apple bought ARM then that would be a problem for almost every embedded device out there... wonder if they want to make a normal Desktop CPU to replace intel by any chance?

"Reports are floating that Apple is interested in making an offer to buy out mobile chip maker ARM."

facepalm

The core of ARM Holding is not to be a chipmaker but a IP supplier like Rambus.

Who else makes chips for phones other than ARM? If apple bought ARM wouldn't they then essentially have a monopoly over the phone market?

Apple buying one of the worlds most prolific mobile chip makers is hilarious. They wont do it, because its a huge amount of their capital and there really is no point. For one would regulators approve such a deal, probably not. Its like Microsoft saying were buying Intel to use their chips solely in PC's, It just wouldn't happen. ARM are far better off as they are now, and by the sounds of it, aren't exactly struggling for cash.

AJR1 said,
Apple buying one of the worlds most prolific mobile chip makers is hilarious. They wont do it, because its a huge amount of their capital and there really is no point. For one would regulators approve such a deal, probably not. Its like Microsoft saying were buying Intel to use their chips solely in PC's, It just wouldn't happen. ARM are far better off as they are now, and by the sounds of it, aren't exactly struggling for cash.

I agree. Given the history of Apple's closed attitude it will raise brows to regulators if Apple wants to own the chip that all iPhone competitors use, and potentially have the rights to make it proprietary. Plus, do you think Google will stay quiet on this with all their plans to expand in ARM with Android and tablets? As for Microsoft they would probably use ARM while they can and then move to next gen Atom Mobile

Doesn't make sense. Why would Apple spend that kind of money to have ARM only produce chips for them? They would lose serious money on the deal. The reason ARM is worth so much is because their chip designs are everywhere. And Apple is not about the 3rd party business.

I call bogus.

Marcus16 said,
Doesn't make sense. Why would Apple spend that kind of money to have ARM only produce chips for them? They would lose serious money on the deal. The reason ARM is worth so much is because their chip designs are everywhere. And Apple is not about the 3rd party business.

They aren't, but then look at all the mobile patients that Nokia hold for example. ARM would be quite a bargaining tool. "You let us use your patients, we let you play with our chips."

The time has come to make a stand and send Apple back to the inner depths of hell, why isn't the government filing a monopoly lawsuit against them, or they just reserved those for Microsoft ???

Master1 said,
The time has come to make a stand and send Apple back to the inner depths of hell, why isn't the government filing a monopoly lawsuit against them, or they just reserved those for Microsoft ???

What does Apple have a monopoly on in which they use anti-competitive practices? Think about it...

asdavis10 said,

What does Apple have a monopoly on in which they use anti-competitive practices? Think about it...

iTunes music and app store?

Argote said,

iTunes music and app store?

Apple doesn't have a monopoly on either. That's like saying Barnes & Noble has a monopoly on the books it sells in its own store. Not books in general, just the ones in its shops. And if that's the case, then Google has a monopoly on Android apps sold on the Android Market. People need to learn what a monopoly is.

Nooo! that would just screw up all the other companies that use ARM's processors! imagine, nokia uses them in some, if not all, their smart phones, as does many other companies, palm included. Apple acquires ARM, and decided to make it a propriety processor for their own devices, its gonna:
a) screw up other companies
b) make prices for other devices shoot up too as companies have to find different sources/make their own processors!

I would be really sad if this happens.
It will deal a massive blow to the mobile industry, I hope that ARM reject the offer.

Do you reckong the competition people will allow this? Surely, if Apply bought ARM, they could really impact most other embedded hardware manufacturers in a bad way...

They wouldn't have to buy the whole company to make them do what they want, just a controlling share (Somewhere between 10% and 51% of shares).

Having shares, yes. Buying the whole company? Get lost!

This would completely destroy the majority of the portable market. I'd also like to see how this would affect current manufacturers which have a contract with ARM (i.e. Nintendo with their DS) - would this be invalidated or no?

No way...ARM is too extensively for many products. Apple would restrict its licensing/use to whatever it sees fit. Monopoly is bad.

yodat said,
It makes much more sense than Apple buys AMD...

It'd have been very strategic move for Apple.

you can't get x86 license by acquisition

BlueFiberOptics said,

Why? Google is not in the hardware business.

Well these days it seems like google wants a part of everything.

Biglo said,

Well these days it seems like google wants a part of everything.

And Apple apparently wasn't in the ad business but things change pretty fast.

murkurie said,
No this a horrible thing if it happens. apple go screw something else up

Errr... they bought a company and came up with the A4 chip, they're probably just looking into this to do something similar for portable chips..

_DP said,

Errr... they bought a company and came up with the A4 chip, they're probably just looking into this to do something similar for portable chips..


You don't even know who ARM is ..do you?

iPad? I thought that used a custom Apple chip? Anyway I'm not sure I like the sound of this, a hell of a lot of mobile devices use ARM chips and it could really rock the boat if Apple acquire them and decide to make them Apple exclusive. However, I doubt they would as they'd be cutting off alot of profit just to make them Apple only...that would make no business sense at all.

Xerxes said,
iPad? I thought that used a custom Apple chip? Anyway I'm not sure I like the sound of this, a hell of a lot of mobile devices use ARM chips and it could really rock the boat if Apple acquire them and decide to make them Apple exclusive. However, I doubt they would as they'd be cutting off alot of profit just to make them Apple only...that would make no business sense at all.

its not as custom as much as it is mostly an Arm and and Arm gpu together

ARM designs CPU cores and GPU cores and then licenses the designs to companies such as Texas Instruments and Qualcomm and now Apple who then use the designs to make their processors.

Pretty much every smartphone on the market has an ARM processor.

Xerxes said,
iPad? I thought that used a custom Apple chip? Anyway I'm not sure I like the sound of this, a hell of a lot of mobile devices use ARM chips and it could really rock the boat if Apple acquire them and decide to make them Apple exclusive. However, I doubt they would as they'd be cutting off alot of profit just to make them Apple only...that would make no business sense at all.

its not about profit from selling the chip. its about grabbing the best tech they can, say its there innovation, and saying.

"if you want the best tech out, then you have to buy from us because we own all that ****!"

well done Steve. your trying to own the mobile market, just like Microsoft tried to own the pc. your terning apple into the Microsoft from 15 years ago!