Skip to main content

PowerVR Just Got Sherlocked


One of the key factors in the performance of Apple iOS devices is the snappy graphics chips it uses. The PowerVR GPU is a product of British company Imagination. Now it appears that Apple is going its own way on GPU design and manufacture and Imagination is out in the cold.

The news was announced by Imagination Technologies as part of its duty to shareholders and the Stock Market in general. Apple consumes a disproportionate percentage of Imagination's output and the news has significant bearing on the company's long term financial prospects.

Imagination's stock is crashing. To the point where Apple could conceivably purchase the company for a song.

Whether it does or doesn't it has quite effectively gutted the company and left it open for a takeover from somebody.

In the meantime Imagination is making threats about patent abuse and the adoption of its technologies, without licensing fees, in the iPhone 9.

Seems likely this could go one of three ways. Imagination's market value is limited by the loss of its primary customer. One of Apple's competitors might choose to jump in and acquire the technology for re-use in its own products. 

Alternatively Imagination could begin a lengthy and costly patent battle with Apple with a long payoff window and unclear chance of success.

Finally Apple may decide the value has dropped sufficiently for it to acquire it's former partner. The fact that it already owns 8% of the company suggests it could make a go of that option. 

It's not unknown for Apple to cut the feet from under a partner or software developer. The concept even has its own urban dictionary entry. To be Sherlocked. In this case however there's the added frission of industrial espionage and a heavy dose of market rigging to be considered.

Or Apple just decided it could do a better job itself and junked an underperforming partner.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

F1: Robert Kubica Impresses In Renault Test Run

The car may be old but its the performance of the driver that's the story here. Robert Kubica returned to F1, after a fashion, earlier this week with an extensive test run in a 2012 Lotus Renault F1 car at Valencia.
The age of the car and the circuit were likely determined by F1's current rules which ban testing, but the reason for Kubica being in the car is far more interesting. Considered by many to be a potential World Champion and certainly one of the fastest drivers of his generation, Kubica's F1 career seemed to be over after a 2011 crash whilst driving in the Rally of Andora. His Skoda Fabia was penetrated by a guardrail in the high speed accident partially severing his right arm.
Up until last year Kubica has been competing in rallying, with the expectation that the limited movement in his repaired arm would prohibit a return to single seater racing.
So this week's test is both interesting and confusing. Interesting because Kubica completed 115 laps of the ret…

Panos Panay's Defence Of Microsoft Surface Hardware Sounds Eerily Familiar

This weekend I went out with my ten year old daughter to select a laptop for her school year beginning in January. The schools requirements are quite specific, requiring a Windows 10 device, with a preference for a touchscreen and a stylus. She chose a Surface Pro, after trying a large number of different options. Having seen the way I use my own Surface Pro - and tried it herself there was only ever going to be two options - and the other was a Surface Laptop.
I tell you this so that you understand I am a buyer of Microsoft's products through choice, not compulsion. I'm on my third Surface device now. 
So when Panos Panay dismissed reports of the death of the Surface hardware line, I was very interested to see exactly how strong these denials were. Especially how they reflect what has gone before. To whit: Windows 10 Mobile.
Panay claimed that Microsoft is in hardware for the long haul. Almost exactly mirroring the words of Terry Myerson, when he claimed Windows Mobile was g…

WhartonBrooks Indiegogo Windows 10 Mobile Even More Doomed To Failure Than Usual

WhartonBrooks is currently crowd-funding its latest Windows Mobile smartphone on Indiegogo. If crowdfunding isn't already a bad enough idea, a company trying to crowdfund a Windows Mobile device should be warning enough for you.
Not that anyone seems to be taking the project too seriously. With a few weeks left to run the campaign has managed to ensnare just 2% of its $1.1m target.
If you want a better indication of how few Window Mobile loyalists remain I doubt there is one. Of 3,900 Windows Phone enthusiasts Wharton Brooks was seeking for its new phone, it has managed to entice just 50.
Windows for Phones is dead, even if the corpse hasn't stopped twitching yet.