EnterpriseMerger and acquisition

Apple Says ‘No Plans’ To Acquire Imagination Technologies

Tom Jowitt is a leading British tech freelance and long standing contributor to TechWeek Europe

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Apple has no plan to acquire British firm Imagination Technologies, despite reports of “advanced talks”

Apple is reportedly in “advanced talks” to acquire British fabless chip designer Imagination Technologies in a move that could have bolstered its GPU credentials.

But, while the iPad maker admitted it has held talks with the Hertfordshire-based firm, it reportedly said it had no plans to buy it.

No Plans

Shares in Imagination Technologies had surged on reports of a possible acquisition. Apple is already a minor shareholder (at least 9.5 percent) of the company.

But Apple moved quickly to quash the media reports and issued a statement to the London Stock Exchange.

“From time to time, Apple talks with companies about potential acquisitions. We had some discussions with Imagination, but we do not plan to make an offer for the company at this time,” the US technology giant said in a regulatory posting.

Reports of the possible acquisition, which cited a source with knowledge of the discussions, did make a certain amount of sense on paper. Imagination Technologies is primarily known for its PowerVR line of GPUs, which Apple has used in the past.

imagination_technologies_powervr_logoImagination has also tried branching out from its GPU expertise into other areas, including MIPS and even a barebones PC to rival the Raspberry Pi.

But it seems that Imagination’s long running CEO Hossein Yassaie resigned in February, and the company is in the process of a painful restructuring that includes the loss of some 350 jobs.

GPU Weaknesses?

The possible acquisition of Imagination comes amid speculation about Apple’s supposed weaknesses in the GPU department. That arose earlier this month when Apple was hit with blunt criticism by Oculus VR founder Palmer Luckey.

Luckey was asked about the possibility of the Oculus platform ever supporting Mac OS X, but he responded by saying it depended on whether Apple ever “releases a good computer”.

“That is up to Apple. If they ever release a good computer, we will do it,” Luckey was quoted as saying by Shacknews.

Essentially, Luckey was criticising Apple’s poor support for high-end GPUs.

“It just boils down to the fact that Apple doesn’t prioritize high-end GPUs,” he reportedly said. “You can buy a $6,000 Mac Pro with the top of the line AMD FirePro D700, and it still doesn’t match our recommended specs. So if they prioritize higher-end GPUs like they used to for a while back in the day, we’d love to support Mac. But right now, there’s just not a single machine out there that supports it.”

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