The next iPhone could feature an Apple-made graphics processor.
Imagination Technologies — the company that currently supplies Apple’s smartphones and tablets with PowerVR graphics solutions — has announced that the Cupertino firm plans to cut ties within the next “15 months to two years”, opening the door for a possible Apple-made graphics chip as early as 2018.
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“Apple has asserted that it has been working on a separate, independent graphics design in order to control its products and will be reducing its future reliance on Imagination’s technology,” Imagination announced in a firm statement.
“Apple has used Imagination’s technology and intellectual property for many years. It has formed the basis of Graphics Processor Units (“GPUs”) in Apple’s phones, tablets, iPods, TVs and watches,” the UK-based firm added.
But what does this actually mean?
‘Apple has asserted that it has been working on a separate, independent graphics design’
For Imagination, bad news. On the back of its statement, its share price tanked nearly 65% in value.
For Apple, a whole new world filled with potential and potential pitfalls. Imagination notes that it will be difficult for the smartphone company to not infringe on its IP with its own chips.
“Apple has not presented any evidence to substantiate its assertion that it will no longer require Imagination’s technology, without violating Imagination’s patents, intellectual property and confidential information,” the company adds.
Considering that Apple does enjoy controlling multiple elements in its product production and ecosystem, the move doesn’t come as a marked surprise.
Apple has yet to release a statement of its own.