Apple is on the verge of bringing another important hardware component in-house, as the company moves to have more control over its line of iOS devices.
A new report claims that Apple is currently in talks with Japanese chip maker; Renesas SP, to purchase Renesas' 55% stake for 50 billion yen ($479 million), which is nearly half a billion dollars. Since Sharp owns 25 percent of Renesas SP Drivers, the company would likely sell its shares to Apple if Renesas' 55% chose to go ahead with the deal.
Japanese business news agency Nikkei said, most of the company's 240 workers would keep their job in the event of a buyout, which should be seen as great news for the current work force.
However, what does Apple want with Renesas SP Drivers?
The company is the sole supplier of Apple iPhone LCD screens and these components play an important role in the smartphone's design, performance, and power consumption. With its shares in the smartphone market slipping, Apple might want to have more control over the components that go inside its devices, rather than leave all development up to a third party supplier.
If Apple acquired Renesas SP Drivers for the rumored $479 million, it would be the largest acquisition yet for Apple. The last big Apple acquisition was when the company purchased NeXT back in 1997 for $404 million. This same acquisition brought Steve Jobs back into the fold to lead the company to where it is right now.
With Google, Microsoft and Facebook making big acquisitions to stay relevant in an ever changing technology market, Apple might be forced to do the same rather than do everything in-house. By acquiring technologies that are already available, it is easier to compete at the right time, instead of spending much money on R&D.
With VR and AR slowly becoming the next best thing, Apple might be forced to spend big to keep up. If not, competing companies could very well push Apple out of the market for good.