iPhone chipmaker no closer to ending dispute with Apple

iPhone chipmaker no closer to ending dispute with Apple


Apple patches things up with mobile GPU maker Imagination
Imagination has been building GPUs for Apple since the iPod.
Photo: Apple

Imagination Technologies, the company that has been making graphics chips for Apple’s mobile devices for well over a decade, says it has made no progress in its ongoing dispute with the iPhone maker.

Imagination is still in talks with potential buyers after putting itself up for sale, but it is adamant that it will continue its fight with Apple after the company’s “unsubstantiated claim.”

Imagination confirmed in April that Apple would be dropping its PowerVR graphics chips — used in the iPhone, iPod, iPad, Apple TV, and other devices — in favor of its own GPU. The news caused Imagination’s share price to plummet 70 percent on the day.

Apple’s decision was made even more painful by an alleged “unsubstantiated claim” that forced Imagination to make the news public and invoke a contractual dispute. It has since put itself up for sale and says that there has been interest from potential buyers.

“Apple’s unsubstantiated assertions and the resultant dispute have forced us to change our course, despite the clear progress we have been making,” said Imagination chief executive Andrew Heath.

That dispute is ongoing, but Imagination says it has made “no progress” with Apple since it started. It still insists Apple could not develop its own GPUs without “violating our patents, intellectual property and confidential information.”

Apple is yet to provide Imagination with proof that it has not infringed its former partner’s intellectual property.

There was some good news for Imagination this week after it posted a £2.4 million (approx. $3.1 million) pre-tax profit for the year ending April 30, 2017 — which comes on the back of a £29.4 million loss in 2016.

However, half of the company’s total sales — £60.7 million — was made up of royalty payments and license fees from Apple, which it won’t be receiving once Apple drops PowerVR chips.


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