Brain Drain: Will Apple Monopolize Cellphone CPU’s?

This image described by Apple, ARM Holdings, microprocessors, ARM_monopoly

MacRumors is floating an Apple-specific whopper of a rumor: the House of Jobs is thinking about buying ARM Holdings.  Who?  Oh, nobody, really — they're just the people behind the microprocessors in EVERY CELL PHONE IN THE FREAKIN' UNIVERSE.

ARM — which, interestingly, was co-founded by Apple in conjunction with Acorn Computers and VLSI Technology — merely designs the processors, farming the actual manufacturing out to other companies.  However, ARM designs are at the heart of not only the iPhone's and iPad's own A4 chip, but Android-based phones as well.  (Not to mention handheld gaming consoles like the PSP and DS.)  If Apple were to in fact seize control of ARM, a good chunk of the world's technology producers would be scrambling to find alternative hardware, or at best be resigned to paying whatever licensing fee Apple saw fit to charge.

Were the deal to go through, the suggested asking price for ARM is a sticker-shock-inducing US$8 billion dollars.  Then again, according to Apple's recent earnings call, they've got over forty billion in cash socked away in the bank.  Nice to have a little mad money to play with…

About Dactyl Anapest

Google + Profile