SoftBank buys ARM: What will Apple do?

Apple has had tremendous success with its iOS devices by licensing ARM’s instruction sets and manufacturing their own mobile chips. But the news that SoftBank plans to buy ARM has caused many in the Apple community to wonder how the sale might affect Apple’s products, and if Apple should try to buy ARM.CIO June/July 2016 issueCIO June/July 2016 Digital Magazine: These CIOs mean businessCover story: this year’s CIO 100 honorees are serious about winning customers and driving revenue.Read NowI’ll share my own thoughts below, but the topic also came up in a recent thread in the Apple subreddit, and there were some interesting comments posted: WinterCharm: “What does this mean for Apple’s custom ARM-based designs?” Dfmz: “SoftBank is a longtime partner of Apple’s and there’s no reason to think they would change anything to that relationship, especially if said relationship brings the added bonus of mass-producing strategic chips for Apple.” Kare_kano: “First of all, the takeover has been confirmed. Apple aren’t idiots and are very careful to control everything they need for their devices and services. If they think this takeover is a problem for them they can come up with a bid of their own, they certainly have the resources to buy ARM. They probably also have a backup plan. Their latest iPhone CPUs use a Twister core which is based on a ARMv8-A-compatible architecture licensed from ARM, but are designed in-house by Apple and manufactured by two competing foundries (Samsung and TMSC), for redundancy.” ExultantSandwich: “How is that a backup plan? If Softbank stops licensing out ARM reference designs isn’t Apple forced to look elsewhere? It doesn’t matter that they design and manufacture the chip, the underlying tech is owned by Softbank. At least that is my impression of things. I don’t think Softbank would ruin the business by refusing to license their tech, but stranger things have happened. I just don’t see how Apple has a backup plan in the example you presented.

Source: SoftBank buys ARM: What will Apple do? | CIO

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