Apple speaks out about Imagination’s ‘misleading’ claims

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Apple isn't happy with Imagination Technologies.
Apple isn't happy with Imagination Technologies.
Photo: Apple

Apple has finally hit back at British chipmaker Imagination Technologies for its “inaccurate and misleading” claims.

Imagination, which has been manufacturing graphics chips for iOS devices for the past decade, has been taking stabs at Apple since it revealed the company will be developing its own mobile GPUs. Now Apple is setting the record straight.

Imagination confirmed back in April that Apple planned to drop its chips in favor of its own designs. The news caused shares in the firm to plummet almost 70 percent on the day, and it responded by attacking Apple for allegedly stealing its intellectual property (IP).

Imagination is adamant Apple couldn’t design its own GPUs without copying its technologies. It claims it has asked Apple for proof that its designs are original, but the iPhone-maker is yet to provide it. Apple has now said those claims are “inaccurate and misleading.”

In an email to Bloomberg, Apple said it first informed Imagination that it would not be using its latest technology in late 2015. By 2016, it told the chipmaker that it would be initiating a clause in its contract that allows it to pay a lower royalty rate for using a smaller amount of IP.

In February of this year, Apple says it told Imagination that it would be ending its relationship with the company altogether, and would cease making any royalty payments in early 2018.

“We began working with Imagination in 2007 and stopped accepting new IP from them in 2015,” Apple said.

“After lengthy discussions we advised them on February 9 that we expected to wind down our licensing agreement since we need unique and differentiating IP for our products. We valued our past relationship and wanted to give them as much notice as possible to adapt their future plans.”

“We’re disappointed in their response, which has been inaccurate and misleading,” Apple added.

Apple was Imagination’s biggest customer, and its orders make up more than half of the company’s overall revenue. Its decision to no longer use Imagination chips has caused Imagination’s value to nosedive, and it has since put itself up for sale.

Of course, Apple has no interest in making a bid.