APPLE REPORTEDLY is considering a buyout of Japanese chip designer Renesas Electronics, a firm that develops LCD chips for mobile devices.
That's according to Japanese news outlet Nikkei, which reports that Apple is in talks with Renesas, with the iPhone and iPad maker "looking into" acquiring the firm in a bid to bring LCD chip development in-house.
According to the report, Apple is eyeing the company's Renesas SP Drivers, a Renesas joint venture with Sharp and Taiwan's Powerchip. Renesas SP is the world's leading producer of drivers and controllers for small and mid-size LCDs, holding a market share of around a third worldwide. What's more, Apple currently gets all of its crystal LCD displays from the firm, and apparently wants to "meld the design of core display components into overall product development."
Apple reportedly wants to pick up Renesas' entire 55 percent stake in the venture, and likely will spend around $480m on it to do so. What's more, the report claims that if a deal is struck between Apple and Renesas, Sharp would sell its ownership shares to the iPhone maker on request.
If such a deal takes place, it will give the technology giant the talent pool necessary to improve image sharpness on product displays as well as boost battery life, with Japan media reporting that all 240 employees of the firm would stay on after the acquisition.
It's unclear when such a deal might take place, but Apple apparently is hoping to have its Renesas buyout finalised by this summer.
Both Apple and Renesas have yet to comment on the speculation. µ