Ap­ple’s chip deal turns rot­ten

The Star Early Edition - - OPINION & ANALYSIS -

AP­PLE has launched an at­tack on iPhone chip maker Imag­i­na­tion Tech­nolo­gies by open­ing a new of­fice close to its head­quar­ters.

The move is the lat­est twist in the saga in­volv­ing the two firms, which have been locked in a war of words af­ter Ap­ple told Imag­i­na­tion it would no longer use its graph­ics chip tech­nol­ogy in iPhones and iPads.

The Silicon Val­ley gi­ant is re­port­edly rent­ing a 2 090m2 of­fice in the cen­tre of St Al­bans to work on cre­at­ing its own graphic chips – three months af­ter an­nounc­ing plans to wind down its re­la­tion­ship with the Bri­tish tech firm.

The new base is just 13km down the road of Imag­i­na­tion’s head­quar­ters in Kings Lan­g­ley and has sparked fears the tech firm is look­ing to poach more staff. Ap­ple has hired Imag­i­na­tion em­ploy­ees – in­clud­ing its for­mer chief op­er­at­ing of­fi­cer John Met­calfe – and ad­ver­tises job post­ings for ex­perts in graph­ics hard­ware in the re­gion.

Imag­i­na­tion, once Bri­tain’s most valu­able tech com­pany, put it­self up for sale last month af­ter see­ing £500 mil­lion (R8.6 bil­lion) wiped off its value in a day when it an­nounced the ter­mi­na­tion of the con­tract. The com­pany has been seek­ing a di­vorce pay­out from Ap­ple.

Ap­ple, on the other hand, has de­nied catch­ing Imag­i­na­tion off guard, say­ing the com­pany has known for years that it was wind­ing down the re­la­tion­ship.

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