Apple gets into the chip business

Marketplace Staff May 4, 2009
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Apple gets into the chip business

Marketplace Staff May 4, 2009
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TEXT OF STORY

Bill Radke: Here’s another company building itself up: Apple Computer has been signing up micro-chip designers at a brisk pace. The company has not quite said so, but Joel Rose reports Apple appears to be getting into the chip business.


Joel Rose: The first clue came last year, when Apple bought up a boutique chip design firm. Since then, Apple has enlisted lots more people with micro-chip experience. It all suggests that the company intends to design the next generation of iPhone and iPod chips in-house.

Dean Takahashi: They really are annoyed by anybody who wants to clone them. So if someone wants to clone the iPhone, they could do so simply by using some of the same chips. If Apple owns those chips, it can stop that from happening.

Dean Takahashi writes for the Silicon Valley blog VentureBeat. He says the move has risks, too:

Takahashi: There’s a lot of engineering costs that they’re going to incur here. But they’re also not going to be paying out a lot of money to those chip-makers who are doing the designs right now.

If the strategy works, Takahashi says Apple could essentially declare independence from Intel, Samsung and other chip-makers. That’s a big if. But with $29 billion in the bank, Apple seems well positioned to try.

I’m Joel Rose for Marketplace.

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