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Apple To Buy ARM?

CmdrTaco posted more than 4 years ago | from the rumor-mill-working-overtime dept.

Businesses 695

gyrogeerloose writes "An article in the London Evening Standard claims that Apple has made an $8 billion offer to acquire ARM Holdings. For those few Slashdotters who don't already know, ARM makes the processor chips that power Apple's iPad, iPhone, and iPod Touch. However, ARM processors are also used by other manufacturers, including Palm and, perhaps most significantly, companies building Android phones. This explains why Apple might be willing to spend so much on the deal — almost 20% of its cash reserves. Being able to control who gets to use the processors (and, more importantly, who doesn't) would give Apple a huge advantage over its competitors."

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Buying ARM for a leg? (5, Funny)

mmkkbb (816035) | more than 4 years ago | (#31938082)

A leg is about 20% of your body mass, so...

Re:Buying ARM for a leg? (5, Insightful)

teh31337one (1590023) | more than 4 years ago | (#31938252)

This will be an Antitrust goldmine. And people say Microsoft are evil. Urgh.

Re:Buying ARM for a leg? (4, Interesting)

epdp14 (1318641) | more than 4 years ago | (#31938414)

No kidding. If Microsoft can get pounded for pushing IE too hard, can you imagine the fallout from Apple telling Palm (or an Android manufacturer), "Oh, you were going to put these in a phone?!?! The phones name doesn't start with 'i'? That'll be $(Original price * sqrt(Steve Jobs current mojo level expressed in number of 1/2 liter units))

Re:Buying ARM for a leg? (1, Funny)

Hognoxious (631665) | more than 4 years ago | (#31938520)

s/current mojo/colostomy bag/

Re:Buying ARM for a leg? (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31938420)

ARM was founded by Apple and Acorn (of BBC Micro fame). During the 90s when Apple was in danger of going bust it sold off its stake in ARM. Now that Apple has a few quid in the bank, it wants ARM back. Assuming the rumours are true. Anyway, it's not so strange.

Re:Buying ARM for a leg? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31938610)

How is this an antitrust goldmine? Apple doesn't sell the most phones and it doesn't sell the most dollars from phone sales. Your comment makes no sense.

Re:Buying ARM for a leg? (1)

Migala77 (1179151) | more than 4 years ago | (#31938506)

I'm not sure. AFAIK antitrust is to prevent new monopolies from being created, or monopolistic power being abused to reduce competition. ARM may have a near-monopoly, but no new monopoly will be created, and ARM is not using its power, but Apple is. And Apple does not have anywhere near a monopoly in the smartphone market. (IANAL)

Re:Buying ARM for a leg? (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31938596)

Almost all smartphones use ARM processors. Nexus one, HTC desire, HTC incredible, Sony Ericson Xperia x10, iPhone, iPad etc, the list goes on. Even Nintendo DS and Nvidia's Tegra chip uses ARM processors. If Apple bought ARM, they'd have control over prices etc

Re:Buying ARM for a leg? (3, Insightful)

Hognoxious (631665) | more than 4 years ago | (#31938604)

And Apple does not YET have anywhere near a monopoly in the smartphone market.

Undid the RDF for you.

Re:Buying ARM for a leg? (5, Insightful)

sznupi (719324) | more than 4 years ago | (#31938574)

Well, Microsoft are evil.

That said, the summary has gross understatement...it's not just Palm or Android phones, it's essentially all phones. And unspeakable number of other consumer devices (heck, in your PC there are most likely more ARM cores than x86 ones...)

This is one deal which EU might not let through.

Re:Buying ARM for a leg? (4, Insightful)

Angst Badger (8636) | more than 4 years ago | (#31938594)

Apple has long been more evil than Microsoft, just less successful at it. Microsoft, after all, just controls the operating system; Apple controls (or wants to control) everything from the operating system and the hardware to what kind of software you run and data you are allowed to access.

The real tragedy here would be having ARM -- whose creativity and intrepid exploration of any and all markets are legendary -- come under the control of a company with a vision as narrow as Apple's. Instead of driving the development of thousands of new products, as ARM effectively does now, it would be channeled into solely serving Apple's tiny handful of fashionable, locked-down toys while creating artificial scarcity for countless companies who are doing something more than peddling the digital equivalent of designer handbags.

Turnabout is fair play (0, Troll)

Orga (1720130) | more than 4 years ago | (#31938104)

In reaction to Apple's move to purchase ARM Google moves to acquire Chinese sweatshops.

Be very afraid. (1, Troll)

Supacon (237936) | more than 4 years ago | (#31938108)

Now this is scary. One small step for Apple towards their global technocratic dictatorship.

Re:Be very afraid. (1)

physburn (1095481) | more than 4 years ago | (#31938178)

Agreed, I'd expect (or hope at least) the monopolies commission (UK side) other anti trust bodies to block this move. I don't want Apple owning control over every mobile phone handset in the world.

Re:Be very afraid. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31938388)

Is this fact now? the link to the article lists it as speculation and there is no mention of 8 billions - just 5.4 billion value

Re:Be very afraid. (3, Insightful)

keithjr (1091829) | more than 4 years ago | (#31938202)

Although I'm not 100% in on your rhetoric, I think we agree, this would be terrible for the topology of the tech industry.

To say that ARM makes smartphone processors is touching just the tip of the iceberg of ARM's influence: ARM is the embedded processor maker. They also don't make processors; they license IP, including to other chip companies like Intel. Apple acquiring ARM just to get better control over mobile hardware would send shockwaves into one of the most dynamic sectors of the tech industry today.

Re:Be very afraid. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31938232)

Exactly, especially taken into account that ARM processors are wiedely used not only for having so much fun using Apple's (or whichever mobile phone manufacturer) gadgets but also for machine-to-machine communication solutions, active network elements, and most probably in many other industries.

Its just scarry. I wonder what will be the outcome of this, I suppose some new manufacturer of processors with low power consumption will appear on the market (or some old one, but less known, will become more popular).

Re:Be very afraid. (2, Interesting)

Suiggy (1544213) | more than 4 years ago | (#31938238)

Yeah, I can totally see Apple setting things up so that they get exclusive use of the new ARM processor architectures for a year before other corporations are able to license them.

Re:Be very afraid. (4, Funny)

AnonymousClown (1788472) | more than 4 years ago | (#31938240)

Now this is scary. One small step for Apple towards their global technocratic dictatorship.

Dictatorship? I don't think so. Theocracy? Yes.

When Steve dies, he'll be turned into a God and prayed to by His followers. After all, he's already a demi-god.

His followers will be recognized by the rimless glasses, black faux turtlenecks, and razor stubble.

When cursing others, the Follower, aka FanBoy, will say "Go to Microsoft! You Son of a PC!"

Sneeze? "Jobs bless you!"

And of course, Wozniak will be sainted. There will also be a virgin birth myth and some other stuff, but it will come.

Re:Be very afraid. (1)

Canazza (1428553) | more than 4 years ago | (#31938326)

Wozniak gave birth to Jobs?! Damn you Rule 34

Re:Be very afraid. (1)

Jazz-Masta (240659) | more than 4 years ago | (#31938488)

"Go to Microsoft! You Son of a PC!"

I'm a PC, and Windows 7 was my idea!

Re:Be very afraid. (2, Interesting)

nomadic (141991) | more than 4 years ago | (#31938262)

Now this is scary. One small step for Apple towards their global technocratic dictatorship.

I know the cultists will shriek, but if Apple had won the PC wars back in the early 80's I have no doubt we would all be using desktops that are exponentially less powerful than the ones we have now. Similarly, if Apple were to monopolize the smartphone market (not that I think they will ever be able to, even with ARM), the rate of progress will slow.

Re:Be very afraid. (3, Insightful)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | more than 4 years ago | (#31938382)

Much as I hate Apple, I have to disagree on that point. Had Apple won the PC wars, it is likely that our current desktops would be just as powerful...but we would have a lot of difficulty making use of that power. In a world where Apple had control over our desktops, I imagine that third party developers would be largely left out of the loop, their programs reviewed and approved by Apple before making it onto our desktops, and so forth. It would also be a world where jokes about the amount of pornography available on the Internet would not exist...

Re:Be very afraid. (1)

whisper_jeff (680366) | more than 4 years ago | (#31938324)

Oh gawd. Please. When is this hyperpoblic crap going to end?

Re:Be very afraid. (1)

Abcd1234 (188840) | more than 4 years ago | (#31938394)

When the world (and Slashdot in particular) is no longer populated with drooling idiots.

So, never.

Re:Be very afraid. (2, Insightful)

Culture20 (968837) | more than 4 years ago | (#31938442)

Oh gawd. Please. When is this hyperpoblic crap going to end?

When Apple stops proving all of the previous hyperbolic crap to be true. The next step after ARM is buying a few more congressmen than Microsoft.

Re:Be very afraid. (0)

camg188 (932324) | more than 4 years ago | (#31938446)

There are always the Texas Instruments OMAP processors. HTC uses them in a lot of their phones.

Re:Be very afraid. (4, Insightful)

Nadaka (224565) | more than 4 years ago | (#31938532)

You are aware that the TI OMAP processors are licensed ARM processors, are you not?

Re:Be very afraid. (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31938538)

You mean the OMAP processors that have an ARM core?

Re:Be very afraid. (1)

amram9999 (829761) | more than 4 years ago | (#31938600)

I hate to break it to you, but the OMAP chips are built on an ARM processor core. OMAP 3400 and 3500 lines are built on an ARM Cortex A8.

Android on iPhone (0)

unts (754160) | more than 4 years ago | (#31938110)

Well, it's a good job this just happened [slashdot.org] , then.

They wont be having my shares (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31938112)

They are not having my shares. I have had them since Acorn put ARM Holdings public, and I have A LOT of these shares.

Re:They wont be having my shares (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31938174)

You do know the company was jointly founded by Apple, Acorn and VLSI in the first place?

Re:They wont be having my shares (1)

grub (11606) | more than 4 years ago | (#31938274)


They are not having my shares. I have had them since Acorn put ARM Holdings public, and I have A LOT of these shares.

Steve Jobs is surely disappointed.

Google (3, Insightful)

Spad (470073) | more than 4 years ago | (#31938124)

Maybe Google had the inside track on this one which is why they made their move on Agnilux?

It is certainly a coup (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31938146)

For Apple to gain such a control over it is market would certainly be worth the expenditure of a fifth of it is resources. I look forward to seeing what it can do with it is acquisitions.

I'm gonna... (0, Troll)

precaheed (764439) | more than 4 years ago | (#31938152)

...fck u i da azz till yoo BbLEEEED!

I wonder what the DOJ will have to say... (1)

Maximalist (949682) | more than 4 years ago | (#31938156)

Hmmm... antitrust fun and hilarity will surely ensue.

Re:I wonder what the DOJ will have to say... (1)

mjwalshe (1680392) | more than 4 years ago | (#31938320)

and after the debacle of Kraft and Cadbury it looks like who ever wins the next election will introduce protection for "strategic" companys. So maybe Apple is trying to get in quick but the rest of teh industry is going to got batshit over this.

Re:I wonder what the DOJ will have to say... (4, Informative)

magarity (164372) | more than 4 years ago | (#31938366)

Yes, this bit in the summary: Being able to control who gets to use the processors (and, more importantly, who doesn't) Is pure fearmongering. Artificially restricting sales to a select group is completely against the Clayton Act in the US and while I don't know the name in the EU, they have similar laws.

Re:I wonder what the DOJ will have to say... (1)

0xdeadbeef (28836) | more than 4 years ago | (#31938438)

If it is fearmongering, then why is it illegal?

Please don't... (5, Interesting)

will.perdikakis (1074743) | more than 4 years ago | (#31938158)

ARM is one of the better generic processors for embedded and small systems. Apple purchasing them may (read: will) limit the usage of ARM or price them out of the market.

As much as I appreciate what Apple is doing with mobile computing, a move like this (assuming they change the current state of ARM) is going to affect the industry (even markets that do not directly compete with Apple) in a non-positive way.

I hope this doesn't happen, but if it does, I hope they leave the current ISA/availability/pricing scheme alone and just use ARM resources to improve their own products, but that is unlike Apple.

Re:Please don't... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31938314)

Say goodbye to ARM as we know it. It's a good thing I learned Assembly (on ARM) years ago, so I could move into more difficult ISA's. I feel bad for the kids in school now, since they might not be able to learn an easy one first anymore.

Re:Please don't... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31938560)

As someone just recently out of school now, I learned asm on x86, which was a little hellish.

Re:Please don't... (4, Insightful)

je ne sais quoi (987177) | more than 4 years ago | (#31938550)

I hope this doesn't happen, but if it does, I hope they leave the current ISA/availability/pricing scheme alone and just use ARM resources to improve their own products, but that is unlike Apple.

You mean how Apple destroyed CUPS after they bought it? Or how about when they stopped upstreaming changes to webkit? Despite much hand-wringing by slashdotters about this, they didn't do either of these things and these projects are both fine. Apple contributes much more to open source [apple.com] than Microsoft does and while hardware is a different beast, the point is there is absolutely no evidence that Apple would ever stop selling ARMs to competitors.

In any case, why the fuck would apple want to buy ARM? THey just bought P. A. Semi [engadget.com] . The whole article is just baseless speculation by people whose sole purpose in life is to drive page views while having the title "analyst".

Mass Extinction of Regulators (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31938160)

Cause of death: laughter.

Ahem (3, Interesting)

Ancient_Hacker (751168) | more than 4 years ago | (#31938162)

That should be "its" competitors. And it's unlikely they'd flex their muscles much in the direction of stifling the companies that use the ARM design.
More likely: Apple wants to extend ARM in directions that the current ARM management is balking at.

Re:Ahem (1)

Em Emalb (452530) | more than 4 years ago | (#31938444)

Why is this moderated flamebait?

They'll give mod points to any monkey with a user id these days, won't they? Sheesh.

Oh, look, 15 mod points for me! Wooh! /peels banana.

Mmmmm... (4, Insightful)

LordBmore (1794002) | more than 4 years ago | (#31938166)

There's nothing like a nice warm cup of unfounded speculation to start the day off right.

never going to happen (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31938168)

It's hard to believe that the regulatory bodies and the mobile industry is going to accept the apple takeover.

I don't think ARM makes chips (1)

QuantumRiff (120817) | more than 4 years ago | (#31938170)

ARM Holdings is just the licensing part of the processor design. Many companies actually manufacture chips based on the ARM designs, (which is part of the reason they are so cheap)

Other than being able to steer the technology, I'm not sure what apple would be able to do? BTW submitter, there are many more ARM processors out there than just what are in Ipods and android phones. Think Embedded devices.

Re:I don't think ARM makes chips (4, Insightful)

MBGMorden (803437) | more than 4 years ago | (#31938216)

Other than being able to steer the technology, I'm not sure what apple would be able to do?

Not license the design? Even though it's being manufactured by many companies, the design is still licensed. If Apple decided to revoke those licenses then it doesn't matter who was making them, the supply would dry up.

Re:I don't think ARM makes chips (2, Interesting)

Tom (822) | more than 4 years ago | (#31938462)

And obviously you think that everyone who licensed the design is a stupid idiot who never went to law or business school, and would sign a licensing deal that can be revoked for no reason at any time.

The real business world is a little more complicated than that.

Re:I don't think ARM makes chips (2, Interesting)

Culture20 (968837) | more than 4 years ago | (#31938512)

Apple will probably have to pay large sums to end the licensing contracts, but that may be worth it to harm competitors. Even if they can't do that, they would be able to not-license any newly developed processors.

Re:I don't think ARM makes chips (1)

Migala77 (1179151) | more than 4 years ago | (#31938572)

It's most likely as much about new designs currently being developed by ARM, as it is about the existing designs. There's a big difference if a phone can get a faster chip with minimal changes (because it's all ARM), or it needs a complete redesign.

Re:I don't think ARM makes chips (1)

Cornelius the Great (555189) | more than 4 years ago | (#31938530)

This is just speculation- just like the same "analysts" discussing whether intel should buy nvidia- it's an investor's wet dream, but couldn't be done legally. No sane regulator would sit by while Apple ceases licensing existing ARM IP to competitors. I'm doubtful they would even allow this acquisition to take place.

Re:I don't think ARM makes chips (1, Interesting)

binarylarry (1338699) | more than 4 years ago | (#31938246)

Apple doesn't seem to mind fucking it's existing customers over for personal reasons, I doubt they'll hold back against competitors like Google and others.

Dear god I hope this falls though.

Re:I don't think ARM makes chips (1)

epiphani (254981) | more than 4 years ago | (#31938270)

ARM Holdings is just the licensing part of the processor design. Many companies actually manufacture chips based on the ARM designs, (which is part of the reason they are so cheap)

Other than being able to steer the technology, I'm not sure what apple would be able to do?

Revoke the licenses.

Re:I don't think ARM makes chips (1)

Late Adopter (1492849) | more than 4 years ago | (#31938322)

TI makes the OMAP line, which many many smartphones use. Apple's iPhone and iPad chips come from Samsung.

Phones known to use OMAP include the N90, N91, N92, N95, N82, E61, E62, E63, E90, N900 and many other Nokia and Samsung devices (such as the Nokia N800 and N810 Internet Tablets). The Palm Pre, the Open Pandora and Motorola Droid also use an OMAP processor (the OMAP3430). Others to use an OMAP SoC include the Sony Ericsson Satio and the Samsung OMNIA HD

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Omap [wikipedia.org]

Re:I don't think ARM makes chips (2, Informative)

Andy Dodd (701) | more than 4 years ago | (#31938568)

Slight distinction here:

The OMAP core is ARM-based and licensed from ARM, but the chip itself is designed by TI (and I think manufactured by them too)
The A4 core is ARM-based and licensed from ARM, designed by Apple (one of the ex-PASemi teams), and manufactured by Samsung

bob the angry flower does not like this summary (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31938186)

http://angryflower.com/itsits.gif [angryflower.com]

IT'S = IT IS

Nice Qoute (4, Insightful)

e2d2 (115622) | more than 4 years ago | (#31938204)

I love this quote:

"A deal would make a lot of sense for Apple," said one trader. "That way, they could stop ARM's technology from ending up in everyone else's computers and gadgets."

And at the same time kill ARM's business! Hilarious.

Re:Nice Qoute (0, Troll)

e2d2 (115622) | more than 4 years ago | (#31938304)

Quote also. WTF's a Qoute? Does it go well with chicken?

Re:Nice Qoute (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31938608)

Since you went through the trouble of making a correction, you should have gone whole-hog and said, "Quotation."

There's no sense in being wrong twice.

Re:Nice Qoute (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31938306)

dude, these are traders we're talking about

Re:Nice Qoute (1)

Abcd1234 (188840) | more than 4 years ago | (#31938318)

And at the same time kill ARM's business! Hilarious.

You're under the mistaken assumption that the purpose of such a purchase would be to acquire ARM's business. But there's no reason to assume that.

Remember, ARM isn't a manufacturer. Really, when it comes down to it, they're an IP holding company. Of course, they create that IP internally, but it's in the licensing of that IP where they make their money. But if Apple's goal is to control that technology, and who can use it, then I don't see why they'd care if they killed the licensing arm (har har) of ARM's business because the reason they're buying ARM isn't for the customer base, it's for the technology itself.

Frankly, I can't imagine why Apple would buy ARM unless their goal is vertical integration. And if that's the plan, then it makes a lot of sense to kill off ARMs licensing business, as then they'll potentially have a competitive edge over their rivals (given there are few who can compete with ARM in the low-power space).

Re:Nice Qoute (1)

Migala77 (1179151) | more than 4 years ago | (#31938348)

8 billion is about the profit Apple made last year. If they could set back the competition many months by limiting their use of ARM's technology in new products, it might very well be worth 8 billion to Apple. Not just for the phones, but also for iPad-competitors.

Re:Nice Qoute (5, Insightful)

Sycraft-fu (314770) | more than 4 years ago | (#31938562)

Ya I don't know why the assumption is that someone else wouldn't step in to the market. Someone like, say, Intel perhaps. Right now, there isn't a ton of interest in new designs in that space because of ARM. They work well, are low powered, and licensed such that they can be implemented cheaply by many people. Intel used to use ARM architecture in their Xscale chips (which are quite popular) before they sold that division to Marvell. As such, there's not a big reason to try and muscle in to the market, you probably aren't likely to make a lot.

However, if Apple decides to play king dick and charge a lot or simply say "Nope, nobody but us can have these chips," well that changes things. It isn't as though all the other mobile phone makers will shrivel up and die, rather they'll look for new hardware and someone like Intel will be happy to provide it for them.

However, that aside, you have to consider that businesses are often very careful about the licenses they make. When licensing an architecture like ARM, they may well get a full architecture license that lets them implement any of the designs they've licensed, in any form, in perpetuity. That sort of contract comes with a company when you buy it. You don't get to throw out their obligations. So while Apple could for sure change new agreements, any of the ones that stand they can't.

There's also the question of how willing companies that do the implementation of ARM, like Marvell, and fabs would be to play ball with Apple. Apple is only a small part of their business. So if Apple suddenly says "Nobody but us can have ARM," maybe Marvell says "Fine we aren't going to sell you any ARM chips." Now Apple has to design the final chip implementation, which isn't the same as the basic architecture. Then maybe the fabs say "Screw you, you've hurt our business cutting off ARM chips, we won't fab your product." Now they have to build or buy their own fab, which is massively expensive.

Hardball can be played multiple ways in the business world and you often find out there is a lot of mutually assured destruction situations out there. I can't see a situation where Apple trying to keep ARM to themselves would do anything but cause a competitor to ARM to arise and be used.

Its (0, Troll)

LBArrettAnderson (655246) | more than 4 years ago | (#31938208)

Its. Come on. We all passed 2nd grade, didn't we?

(at the time of this posting, the last line in the summary was "would give Apple a huge advantage over it's competitors")

Apple hates computing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31938214)

Apple wants to to make sure that all computing that consumers do is mindless and bland.

They want to send us back to the stone age where we run what they tell us to run.

Mail your competition related authorities and speak out against this action.

Or... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31938222)

Buy it an antitrust lawsuit / give Intel a new market.

Antitrust (5, Insightful)

necro81 (917438) | more than 4 years ago | (#31938260)

Being able to control who gets to use the processors (and, more importantly, who doesn't) would give Apple a huge advantage over it's competitors.

And it is for this very simple reason that it would be blocked on antitrust grounds. Even if the slightly more lax regulators in the US would permit it, you can bet the Europeans wouldn't (ARM Holdings is based in the UK).

Re:Antitrust (0)

adamwright (536224) | more than 4 years ago | (#31938496)

Gaining an advantage over your competitors is *not* grounds for anti-trust. Once again, I see "A monopoly on high quality" or "A monopoly on something I want" being thrown around as grounds for government intervention. Fortunately, the law isn't that idiotic - just random Internet commenters.

Apple has nowhere near a monopoly on chip design, mobile devices or computing. There are plenty of competitors to ARM in the low power chip market. The shareholders of these two companies are well within their rights to agree a takeover. Buying something so your competitors can't use it is a perfectly legitimate business action - if it wasn't, huge swathes of company takeover in existence would be "blocked on antitrust grounds".

Huge Advantage == Huge Antitrust case (1)

viraltus (1102365) | more than 4 years ago | (#31938266)

These guys really have no shame.

Re:Huge Advantage == Huge Antitrust case (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31938350)

If Apple successfully buys ARM, I will sue Apple myself.

Doubtful (1)

whisper_jeff (680366) | more than 4 years ago | (#31938280)

Being able to control who gets to use the processors (and, more importantly, who doesn't) would give Apple a huge advantage over it's competitors.

I would imagine that various trade organizations would monitor that sort of thing very, very, very closely.

Microsoft was hiring ARM developers... (1)

LotsaCaffeine (312054) | more than 4 years ago | (#31938284)

Slashdot recently posted about MS hiring ARM programmers. How would this impact MS and don't you think they heard some rumors about this?

Bill

Apple to get even tighter control of its hardware (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31938288)

Resulting in even less open access. yippee

Am I the only one... (3, Interesting)

vikingpower (768921) | more than 4 years ago | (#31938330)

..who thinks that is short-sighted from Apple ? Apple has, since its very beginnings, been about two things: computers, i.e. finished computers - and software. In the long run, buying Arm is a beginning of turning Apple into a conglomerate. And conglomerates are not only unwieldy and difficult to manage - they don't survive for very long.

Re:Am I the only one... (4, Insightful)

Jer (18391) | more than 4 years ago | (#31938500)

Jobs has, at least since he shoved Woz off to the side, been about one thing - total vertical control of Apple's platforms.

Apple has the money and the size now that they've been expanding that vertical control upward deeper into the application level of their machines via their appstore. It's not surprising to me at all that they would want to expand that vertical control down as well into controlling more and more of the hardware. That strikes me as a very Jobs/Apple thing to do.

Keep hating Microsoft while Apple goes unchecked (1, Interesting)

Jackie_Chan_Fan (730745) | more than 4 years ago | (#31938344)

Apple is far more controlling than Microsoft these days.

But we all let Apple get away with murder.

Apple is like the hot girl that gets pulled over for speeding. The cops let her go because she's pretty.

Re:Keep hating Microsoft while Apple goes unchecke (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31938474)

What are you talking about? People raise hell over Apple's recent excesses.

Re:Keep hating Microsoft while Apple goes unchecke (3, Interesting)

Jugalator (259273) | more than 4 years ago | (#31938516)

We do? There have been tons of complaints on Apple's strategy in terms of the App Store, and now lately the programming language limitations in the SDK, as well as every time they try to silence a blogger. There have been lots of voices of moving to Android Market, and so on.

Well, unless you just read the Apple fansites of course. But that gives an as objective view on things as just reading a Linux fansite, or Windows fansite (yeah, they exist).

Chip purchases (2, Informative)

lec8rje (1078775) | more than 4 years ago | (#31938390)

Ars has a couple of articles that may be of interest. Firstly concerning Google chrome
http://arstechnica.com/open-source/news/2010/04/chromeos-kernel-source-code-hints-at-arm-tegra-2-hardware.ars [arstechnica.com]
and later there was this
http://arstechnica.com/business/news/2010/04/google-buys-secret-chip-startup.ars [arstechnica.com]

I hope it doesn't cost Apple... (1)

precaheed (764439) | more than 4 years ago | (#31938396)

...a arm and a leg!

Qualcomm, now Apple (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31938418)

Last week there was a rumor that Qualcomm was going to buy ARM. Now there's speculation about Apple.

It's possible that Steve Jobs took the Qualcomm rumors seriously, and bid for ARM just to make sure that Qualcomm didn't end up buying the company.

http://www.minyanville.com/businessmarkets/articles/arm-holdings-apple-nokia-oem-semiconductors/3/8/2010/id/27176 [minyanville.com]

ARM mini-ITX (1)

ChristTrekker (91442) | more than 4 years ago | (#31938426)

And here I was just wondering if I could find an ARM-based mini-ITX board for a project. I didn't think I'd be seeing an Apple logo on it, though.

Cut the paranoia please. (1)

The Famous Druid (89404) | more than 4 years ago | (#31938450)

ARM don't make the chips, they license the basic core design to chip manufacturers, who customize it to their own needs, then sell the chips.
So there's no threat of Android, or anyone else, being denied supply, there's a wide variety of suppliers to choose from.

Alternative to ARM (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31938454)

> Being able to control who gets to use the processors (and, more importantly, who doesn't) would give Apple a huge advantage over it's competitors.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Via_nano

http://www.via.com.tw/en/products/processors/nano/

Re:Alternative to ARM (1)

0123456 (636235) | more than 4 years ago | (#31938590)

As far as I'm aware the Nano has a higher power consumption than an Atom, which is already too power-hungry for most markets where ARM is the processor of choice.

But if Apple do buy ARM, then ARM is dead; no other hardware manufacturer is going to want to allow Apple to control their products. So some other company will get rich designing a similar chip.

Potential Good Move (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31938460)

Makes sense that Apple would make a play for ARM. Not only does Apple secure a critical resource, it ensures Apple will control the resource in the market. However, at some point ARM will become an Apple institution at which point it is likely that problems with the technology will occur, but this will depend largely on how Apple handles the ARM division after the purchase. Can't wait to see how it plays out, as I am always hoping Apple will fail and they finally get pushed out of their niche market selling over priced, crippled, goods to unsavvy consumers.

Could antitrust play a role? (1)

Last_Available_Usern (756093) | more than 4 years ago | (#31938480)

If Apple acquired ARM and effectively limited the acquisition of critical processors by competitors, would that constitute a breach of antitrust law? I won't pretend to know the law, but I know why it's there, and if competitors are forced to use inferior processing purely because Apple has the fiscal power to acquire the technology then that sounds like there could be an issue. Or, what if they just price everyone out by charging so much that non-Apple devices based on the chips are too cost-prohibitive? Anyone with insight into antitrust law want to weigh in on this?

can you say: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31938484)

anti-trust?

Google should be buying stock (1)

wonkavader (605434) | more than 4 years ago | (#31938486)

Google should be frantically trying to buy as many shares of ARM as they possibly can, right now.

Why would they block? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31938492)

Why would they want to block anyone from using their stuff?
Licence it and they'd get significantly more income then outright banning.

Feelings (1)

verdejt (1795566) | more than 4 years ago | (#31938504)

Well let me ask you all something. How does this differ from Microsoft and the Bill Gates empire? Does not Bill Gates extort money from companies for his "licensing"? Has he not withheld technology from other companies via products he as bought out and then licensed to them? Who remembers the browser wars of the 80's and 90's. Does not Microsoft own licensing for just about everything running Windows and can they not pull licensing at any time thereby potentially destroying a companies product just because they don't like it? Frankly This move doesn't worry me too much. Yes the ARM processor technology is in everything mobile but how is that so different from the Intel giant and the licensing of the Pentium chip?

"Microsoft Move To ARM Servers" (1)

stakovahflow (1660677) | more than 4 years ago | (#31938514)

Anyone remember this /. headline: "Hardware: Job Ad Hints At Microsoft Move To ARM Servers" from earlier in the week?

I do not think I'm the only one who sees the irony here...

--Stak

Interesting proposition (1)

cabjf (710106) | more than 4 years ago | (#31938564)

What makes this even more interesting is that Apple was one of the three original co-foundering companies behind ARM Holdings. So it would be like buying back their own investment.

If these rumors are true, Apple is probably looking to combine their PA Semi acquisition with the talent and technology at ARM to create some sort of super low power, high performance, RISC chip design team.

Die Apple (2, Insightful)

bbqsrc (1441981) | more than 4 years ago | (#31938570)

Don't hijack the one fucking processor that has a chance of possibly dethroning the wintel empire with its vast quantities of low energy and epic win.

A Leg Up On The Competition (1)

SplicerNYC (1782242) | more than 4 years ago | (#31938582)

I should have resisted. I'm sorry.
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