Apple is upping the ante in its battle with British iOS chipmaker Imagination Technologies by opening a new office “a stone’s throw” from Imagination’s headquarters in St Albans, in the U.K.
This comes days after Apple attacked Imagination for its “inaccurate and misleading” claims. Earlier this year, it was revealed that Apple will be ditching Imagination to develop its own mobile GPUs in-house. Imagination has made clear its belief that Apple can’t design its own GPUs without copying Imagination’s technologies.
Apple’s new office will be a 22,500 square-foot office, which will be used for developing Apple’s new mobile GPU. Imagination fears that this is proof positive that Apple is looking to poach the company’s top talent.
This isn’t the first time such a fear has been raised. Back in October, it was reported that Apple had turned to poaching Imagination talent to build its own GPU team. At the time, a Business Insider report noted that upwards of 25 of Imagination’s senior employees and engineering talent have defected to Apple causing a “brain drain.”
While Apple is fully entitled to open a new office anywhere it wants, the fact that it would choose to do so virtually opposite the office of a company it’s currently in the middle of battling with is a reminder that — despite Tim Cook’s words about Apple being a “force for good” in the word — it can be a pretty darn ruthless company at times.
Apple was previously Imagination’s biggest customer, with its orders making up more than half of the company’s overall revenue. Apple’s decision to no longer use Imagination chips has caused Imagination’s value to nosedive, and the company has since put itself up for sale.