After what has already been an ongoing dispute between Imagination Technologies and Apple, the two companies have actually become closer — in proximity, that is. Apple is reportedly renting out office space in the U.K city of St. Albans, only miles from Imagination headquarters, The Telegraph reports.
Apple will use the 22,500 square-foot space to develop its own graphics technology after speculations surfaced in April that the company was going to replace the PowerVR GPU designed by Imagination Technologies. This GPU was used in various Apple mobile devices including the Apple iPhone and the iPad.
After confirming the news in June that it was in dispute with Apple, Imagination Technologies announced it was officially up for sale and already in contact with potential buyers. Finding another buyer is the company’s next best chance for survival after losing 70 percent of its value when information of Apple sourcing GPU components elsewhere emerged.
Now that Apple has moved in so closely to the microchip company, there are supposedly fears that Apple will try and recruit Imagination Technologies’ own staff. Apple has already posted corporate graphics-related job openings on its site in the same region where St. Albans is located, Apple Insider noted.
However, Imagination Technologies is certain Apple will not have its plans carried out so easily. Imagination claimed Apple will not be able to create new graphics technology without infringing on intellectual property, patents, and information previously shared. This caused both companies to further argue the timeline of events with Imagination seeming surprised by Apple cutting ties.
In response, Apple, in a statement to Bloomberg, said that Imagination was already informed in 2015 that it would no longer be purchasing the company’s latest technology. While Imagination Technologies claim it was only informed in March, Apple said it discussed matters such as licensing agreements as early as February in an effort to give as much notice as possible.
While this does not seem like a clean break, Apple’s plans to create its own graphics processor will give the company far more control over all the elements that make up its devices. It will also be essential for keeping up with its grand future plans for augmented reality.
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