Imagination Tech shares plunge as Apple abandons British firm
US tech giant will stop using UK company’s graphics technology
Apple paid Imagination license fees and royalties totalling £60.7 million for the year to end-April 2016, half of its total revenue, and is expected to pay about £65 million for this year, Imagination said. (Photograph: Lucy Nicholson/Reuters)
Apple has given Imagination Tech notice that it will stop using its graphics technology in the iPhone and other products in up to two years’ time, dealing a major blow to the British company, which could lose half of its revenue.
Shares in Imagination, in which Apple holds an 8 per cent stake, plunged by 65 per cent.
Imagination said Apple, its biggest customer, was developing its own independent graphics processing chips, which would reduce its reliance on the company. The technology group licenses its processing designs to Apple and receives a small royalty on every graphics chip used in a iPhone, iPad and Apple Watch.
Imagination, however, said it doubted that Apple could go it alone without violating Imagination’ patents, intellectual property and confidential information. “This evidence has been requested by Imagination but Apple has declined to provide it,” it said on Monday. It said that Apple’s notification had triggered talks on alternative commercial arrangements for the current license and royalty agreement.
Apple paid Imagination license fees and royalties totalling £60.7 million (€70.1 million) for the year to end-April 2016, half of its total revenue, and is expected to pay about £65 million for this year, Imagination said.