Chip designer ARM Holdings, the jewel in SoftBank’s investments, is starting to go on sale. This is considered an appropriate time when the reputation of this chip designer is rising, not only from the design of their presence in billions of smartphones today, but also preparing to be included in Apple Apple Silicon processor on their Mac computer.
Therefore, the rumors about Apple excited to participate in the acquisition process of ARM is entirely reasonable as it can help them further strengthen their position in the current chip industry. According to Bloomberg sources, both companies have begun to have preliminary discussions about the deal.
With a great deal of money, and a long-term relationship with ARM Holdings, Apple became the most potential buyer for this chip design firm.
However, a Bloomberg source also said that Apple had to give up the deal later, due to concerns about how it would treat its competitors after acquiring ARM technology.
Moreover, a report from Bloomberg points out another factor that made Apple abandon the deal: “ARM’s licensing business is not very consistent with Apple’s business model of software and hardware.”
Based on the fact that Apple is facing an antitrust investigation, the less common ground about the business model makes the decision to withdraw from the ARM business become more appropriate.
Not only Apple, with ARM Holdings’ enormous influence in the current chip industry, anyone involved in the deal will be subject to strict scrutiny from antitrust regulators. According to sources, SoftBank is discussing with Nvidia about the deal.
After Apple withdrew, Nvidia was the next to show interest in the ARM acquisition.
In 2016, SoftBank spent US $ 32 billion to acquire ARM Holdings, now holding the chip designer in hand, the amount of money the buyer will certainly not be small.
History of the relationship between Apple and ARM
In fact, the relationship between Apple and ARM began when the company was founded. In November 1990, Advanced RISC Machines (ARM) was established based on a joint venture between Acorn Computers, Apple and VLSI Technology. Former Apple vice president Larry Tesler said that ARM’s high-performance processing technology, low power consumption and low cost would be the perfect choice for the processor of Apple’s Newton MessagePad. Apple spent $ 3 million to hold 43% of ARM’s shares.
When Steve Jobs returned to Apple in the 1990s, he sold a majority of Apple’s stake in ARM Holdings. That was also the time when the Apple was on the verge of bankruptcy.
Later, as many people know, Apple started using ARM technology on their iPhones and iPads and made a name for itself. Recently, Apple announced the use of ARM architecture for the new Apple Silicon processor on their Mac computers, to replace Intel CPUs.
Currently, for Apple alone, ARM technology has been on more than 2 billion devices shipped over the past decade.
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