Following the claims Imagination Technologies made against Apple in its latest earnings report the iPhone maker issued a response that amounts to, “We told you two years ago we’re breaking up.”
Imagination has had a deal to provide GPU technology for Apple’s mobile devices since 2007. The company’s stock tanked earlier this year when it announced Apple was terminating the deal to make its own mobile GPU chips.
In a statement to Bloomberg Apple said there were discussions in 2015 where it was made very clear the relationship was coming to an end. An Apple representative said,
We began working with Imagination in 2007 and stopped accepting new IP from them in 2015. 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.
According to Apple, Imagination has had two years to sort out its business plans. Imagination, however, says it found out about Apple’s plans much more recently.
The Imagination Technologies Business Headache
Regardless of when Imagination found out, the end result is the same. About half its business comes from Apple and its stock value plummeted after announcing Apple’s plans. The company has since put itself up for sale but hasn’t found a buyer yet.
Imagination contends Apple can’t design its own mobile GPU chips without infringing on its patents. Apple says its been working on those chips for some time and Imagination has no way of knowing what it’s cooking up.
Imagination is invoking an arbitration clause in its contract with Apple, but at this point it’s hard to say if the company can be saved. A buyer hasn’t been found even though its financial situation has improved some, and recovering from losing half your revenue is a pretty hard task.